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High dollar deal

Tales from the ONO Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

I wondered, gentle readers, as a young man in my 30s what I was doing among these folks around me. There we sat in the conference room with the founder’s picture staring down at us from the paneled wall. As I tried to consume what was going on without lookin’ or actin’ like the outsider I was, I began to relax and understand that I was there because THEY wanted me there. That’s a comfortable feeling knowing they are including you because they believe your opinion matters. After all, you are responsible for a multimillion dollar ranching and farming enterprise. I listened and listened some more, absorbing all that I could as this was my first experience like this. The folks around me were senior vice presidents, the CEO, accountants, advisers, etc.

When it was all over I had a tremendous sense of relief and a whole lot more confidence because of the confidence apparently placed in me with no more experience or education that I had with matters like these. It was for sure a high dollar deal. This was a world wide independent oil company with a stellar reputation for exploration and production in areas that others had not fully embraced. They owned several farms and ranches across the south and several places in Texas and I was the “man” who managed one of these properties. These guys were old money from back in the 30s and 40s and knew their business and now, I was one of them. I couldn’t hardly believe it. There I had given up my position with Proctor and Gamble to “just be a cowboy” and here I was. One of the reasons they hired me, I understand, was because I had been with Proctor and Gamble and my lovely sweet wife Martha, whom everyone loved!

After 10 years there, the next high dollar deal was not so valued. The money was there, the folks that owned it all were not. Nope, they would take a leave of absence from being what I considered normal, decent, caring folks and let you know that you were not at all like them. I got the message from the “get-go” and slowly began to realize I had made a horrible mistake. I understand I was chosen out of some 80 applicants. Big deal. They got a good man with a good family but that concept was so foreign to them it didn’t compute. I was told when I was fired after eight months that I was an honorable man but they just DIDN’T LIKE ME! Well, for crying out loud, Charlie Brown, we can’t have an honorable man runnin’ this outfit. Why, he could possibly destroy our reputation as being unpredictable and for sure, ruthless in our dealings at times! Yep, it was a high dollar deal and I learned that there are folks out there that ya wish ya just had never come in contact with. One minute they had you ridin’ high for your accomplishments, the next minute you were lower than a rattler in the Arizona desert sand. Sure wasn’t my cup of tea. My pride and ego would not allow me or my family to be scorned on occasions like we were. “We heard you guys went to church last Sunday?” We don’t have anything to do with Ralph Lauren or his employees, EVER!” That purty much says it all. I was SO GLAD TO GET FIRED. The next few years were really tough but we survived and here I am, telling you all about those HIGH DOLLAR DEALS! Trust me dear friends, money is not the answer to all of your problems. Ask Judas!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, remember, “it’s just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖


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