Tuesday, February 23, 2016
My Vanishing History
I worked for a man yonks (35+ years) ago. He was self-made and proud of it. Started out as a shipper and bought the company and then expanded it into a diversified multi-billion dollar enterprise, still ongoing and successful.
I learned a lot from him. We were roughly the same age, in our thirties at the time. Did a lot of drinking together. He was a fierce womanizer. But not with me. I could put on an "off limits" thing quite well and he wasn't the type to harass to get his jollies. More the opposite. Women would throw themselves at him as he was quite attractive. Movie stars even. He was involved in the entertainment business among many others. Many was the time after work we would have dinner together. I got to know him like a brother. He always wore a shirt with two pockets. In one was a list of his assets, in the other was a list of his liabilities and over dinner we'd talk about the financial statements and he'd make minute adjustments to these index cards. And I'd talk for him at meetings with our financiers as I didn't think it a good idea for him to extract these cards from his pockets and have the important bankers sneer at him. Later on of course he didn't give a damn what anyone thought.
He was the most intelligent person I've ever worked for even though he never, to my knowledge, cut a book open. A grade 10 education. His hobby was his business. He told me it came before anything else, family, love, relationships of any kind. And it did. He was driven. His friends (male) were all driven. At the time, being treated like a "friend" by him made me realize I was probably the only close female in his life he wasn't sleeping with. He would freely talk to me about his women and the problems he encountered when they found out about each other. Which was frequently.
He was generous to a fault and rarely got mad except when his business associates betrayed him.
I could write loads more, it would make you shake your head in disbelief as his life was truly stranger than fiction.
He died yesterday. Liver cancer. A multi-billionaire living in the safety of Nassau.
I dreamed of him last night which was odd, I hadn't thought about him in forever. We were having dinner in the lobby of some hotel and he was wearing Armani. And I was in jeans and a sweatshirt and we were talking intensely as we always did. About yachts. He owned quite a few.
An extraordinary man. An extraordinary life.