Tahoe Pine Nuts: Early to rise makes a man … wise?
Last Wednesday morning at the Peppermill, I had the pleasure of welcoming power administrators from twelve western states to Nevada, then introducing Governor Sandoval to make that welcome official. I was allocated six minutes…
I must tell you I am not a morning person … Ben Franklin told us, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise…I don’t see it! I have found that a tumbler full of whiskey in the morning is a preventive against toothache. I’ve never had the toothache; and I don’t intend to have one…
But I might like to share with you some of my entrepreneurial excesses so that you might better appreciate some of your entrepreneurial successes.
In truth, I never saw an opportunity until it had ceased to be one, and whenever I got in on the ground floor of a commercial venture, there was an SOB in the basement.
Alexander Graham Bell gave me the first telephone in a private residence, but I took it out; I never got any calls.
In 1894 I declared bankruptcy. I had invested over $200,000 (about 5 million in today’s dollar) in the Paige Typesetter, which had 18,000 moving parts, all moving in the wrong direction. So here I was, 59 years of age, and five million dollars in debt, when the life expectancy was forty-nine.
The billows of hell began rolling over me. The devil was on deck and having everything his way, until Henry Rogers, the number two man at Standard Oil, invited me up to his office. Henry took an interest in my financial affairs and told me, “Sam, you can afford to be money poor, you cannot afford to be character poor, you must pay back one hundred cents on the dollar.”
Well, this was a dismal revelation to me as I was bound to fifty cents on the dollar by the bankruptcy agreement. But Henry helped organize a world lecture tour by way of steamer, and off we went, my wife, Livy and our middle daughter, Clara. It took us one year to make that raid on an unsuspecting public, and every half-dime I made I sent to Rogers to invest.
Three years later, in 1898 I received a cable from Henry: “Sam you are in the black to $15,000, having paid back one hundred cents on the dollar.”
I learned from Rogers that there is no statute of limitations to honor. Honor has no statute of limitations. Were it not for Henry Rogers the only shelter I would have today would be an umbrella, and a borrowed one at that…
Nikola Tesla and I were friends. Tesla invented a defensive weapon, a charged particle beam that could knock down a fleet of 200 ships in one fell swoop. He asked me to take the information about the existence of his weapon to Europe, and the very dread of such a weapon would put the lid on warfare for all time. I agreed.
But one of life’s exigencies intervened, and I died; some say I died, of course you know better, as the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated…
Nowadays I try to keep current. I wrote to Elon Musk yesterday asking to put me on the waiting list for the Model 3 Tesla. What could be better than Mark Twain driving across this great land of our in an electric Tesla. I can picture myself pulling into Wells, Nevada, where they grandfather me in, and give me a free charge!
Well, I personally want to thank you for your continued efforts in providing rural America with affordable electricity, and I welcome you to Nevada, where we drink whiskey and fight over water.
Now, I don’t vote for politicians … it only encourages them. But an honest man shines brighter in politics than he would elsewhere, and having Brian Sandoval in Nevada politics is like having an attar of roses in a glue factory. Ladies & gentlemen, the governor of the great state of Nevada, Brian Sandoval…
Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghotsoftwain.com.
A special screening of the documentary “The Human Element” will be hosted Friday, Aug. 16, with an introduction by internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer James Balog.