Friday, May 22, 2009

Why Do We Wait?


I am moving from Dallas to the D. C. area (Falls Church, Virginia). I lived in Dallas only 18 months. I had moved from San Antonio.

Now, demographically, San Antonio and Dallas might as well be on different planets. As I continually told people when I was in Europe, who wanted to know how things were done in "America," or how "Americans" folded their napkins -- there is no such thing as "America," in the sense that they mean. The folding of the napkin, even the existence of the napkin at all, varies widely from Le Batre, Louisiana to Billings, Montana, to Wesport, Connecticut, to Portland, Oregon.

That having been said, generally speaking the farther south you go, and the more toward an ocean, the warmer and gentler things become. Dallas is land-locked smack in the middle of the huge state of Texas. It is "Dutch" - like New York City - established with commerce, business, as the primary focus.

So, back to my story. I've lived here 18 months and moved around. Went to the same stores, restaurants, PO, exercise club. Was greeted peremptorily - everyone greets the customer these days, don't they? I felt not welcome, but not UN-welcome either. Kind of ghost-like. Same with my apartment. Quiet, clean, not much flavor to it, but an easy place to live, an easy place to function from, i.e., "doin' bidness." People looked up and nodded, sometimes said "hello" or "howdy."

Now I am leaving, and there has been occasion to tell the people at the Tetco on the corner, and Mezza Luna, the great Italian restaurant behind the UPS, and my apt. manager, and all of a sudden I have been "noticed." Many have seemed upset and sad I was leaving. I mean, genuinely. They say how much they will miss me. Someone asked my name - for the first time. Some hope that I will return. Nameless for months, I suddenly have a name.

ISo what's my point? I am doing a booklet for a family reunion we are having in D.C., centered around the SEC Historical Society's Anniversary Dinner, because my father, Ray Garrett, Jr. was a former chairman of the SEC. We are privately going to honor him at this public celebration. Within his papers, while doing research for this booklet, I found the following.

In 1971, his father, Ray Garrett, was presented with a major award from the American Bar Association. Ray Garrett Sr. had chaired the committee that revised the Model Business Corporations Act. In the trade it would be said, "he wrote it." This work was finished in the mid- 60s, and Ray, Sr. died in 1969. Revising the Model Corporation Act will always be considered Ray Garrett Sr.'s greatest contribution to the field, and also a great contribution to the field.

Ray Jr. went to receive the posthumous award to his father. A newspaper reporter interviewed him.

Reporter: What do you think about your father getting that award?
Ray Garrett, Jr.: It was nice. It would have been nicer if it had happened when he was alive.

Res ipse loquitur.

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