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Transcript of interview with Harry Kogan by Barbara Tabach, January 12, 2016







With a liveliness of a man decades younger, Harry Kogan looks at his 100th birthday with cheer and satisfaction. Born March 11, 1916 to poor Russian immigrant parents in the Jewish ghetto of Philadelphia, Harry vividly recalls walking to school shoeless, with no hat or no raincoat. A treat would be his mother handing him ten-cents to go to the theater and enjoy a silent movie. After graduating from high school in 1933, Harry quickly took one of the rare jobs available in a garment manufacturing company where he worked his way into being a skilled and valued fabric cutter-a job that paid $35 a week. Harry was raised with two brothers and lived in Philadelphia for the first 91 years of his life before moving to Las Vegas. One of his brothers learned the refrigeration business while enlisted in the Navy and after the war formed a commercial refrigeration business named Kogan Brothers. Harry is a philosophical and philanthropic man. He was slow to retire and traveled the world, took classes and donated to his favorite causes; among which are the Boys Town Jerusalem and the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. He sat for this interview to honor his Jewish roots, to share his life experiences and spending the past years in Las Vegas.

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[Transcript of interview with Harry Kogan by Barbara Tabach, January 12, 2016]. Kogan, Harry Interview, 2016 January 12. OH-02530. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Harry Kogan An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas i ©Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tab ach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first- person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas Preface With a liveliness of a man decades younger, Harry Kogan looks at his 100th birthday with cheer and satisfaction. Bom March 11, 1916 to poor Russian immigrant parents in the Jewish ghetto of Philadelphia, Harry vividly recalls walking to school shoeless, with no hat or no raincoat. A treat would be his mother handing him ten-cents to go to the theater and enjoy a silent movie. After graduating from high school in 1933, Harry quickly took one of the rare jobs available in a garment manufacturing company where he worked his way into being a skilled and valued fabric cutter—a job that paid $35 a week. Harry was raised with two brothers and lived in Philadelphia for the first 91 years of his life before moving to Las Vegas. One of his brothers learned the refrigeration business while enlisted in the Navy and after the war formed a commercial refrigeration business named Kogan Brothers. Harry is a philosophical and philanthropic man. He was slow to retire and traveled the world, took classes and donated to his favorite causes; among which are the Boys Town Jerusalem and the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. He sat for this interview to honor his Jewish roots, to share his life experiences and spending the past years in Las Vegas. Happy 100th Birthday: March 11, 2016. Harry celebrated with nearly a hundred friends and residents at the Willows. Photo above is with Rabbi Yocheved Mintz and close friend Elliot Karp (former Jewish Federation Director). Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project UNLV University Libraries Use Agreement Name of Narrator: Name of Interviewer: We, the above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV, the recorded interview(s) initiated on /- /<2 along with typed transcripts as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I understand that my interview will be made available to researchers and may be quoted from, published, distributed, placed on the Internet or broadcast in any medium that the Oral History Research Center and UNLV Libraries deem appropriate including future forms of electronic and digital media. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Signature of Interviewer Date i/ /ft/___ T/m*c±/ Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, NV 89154-7010 702.895.2222 This is Barbara Tabach. Today is January 12th— Right. Tuesday, the 12th. —2016, and I'm talking to Harry Kogan, K-O-G-A-N. Right. Harry, tell me what your birth date is. March 11th, 1916,1 was born. One hundred years. Yes. Almost. Sixty days. Wow. What's it like to have been alive for a hundred years? A span of life that is unbelievable. Bom in the poorest time. My mother was eighteen, nineteen. She was illiterate. Women weren't educated in Russia. She met my father—I got a rise. I says, "Why did you pick Pop? Because he was a good dancer?" "No, he was a good yancer." She says, "Just don't do that to me. I ask the question; I don't answer your question." She was illiterate until she passed away. Where was she born? Russia; Odessa, Russia. And your father was, as well? Exactly, yes. Right. They had a lot of guts because living in Europe at seventeen, eighteen, there was royalty in every single country. What they did to the average person, especially Jews, unbelievable how they existed. She came to the United States because her brother preceded her coming to Philadelphia; that's how she was able to get in. It was all new to her. My father got a 1 job with his brother-in-law in a furniture thing. He made very little, fifteen dollars a week. You think of it. That was the going rate at that time. Do you know what year they came to the United States? About 1907 or '08. I was bom in '16. I had a thing with my mother. "Why didn't you invite me to the wedding?" She could not think of what I said. "None of your business;" that was her answer. Did you have siblings? Yes, two brothers, no sisters, three boys. It was lucky because in poverty if there was a girl in the house, it has to have extra room for her or whatnot. So in those days we lived in what's called a cold water flat, meaning that you lived in second or third floor. Houses were right next to each other, not like here. Bare floors, wooden floors. No electricity, a little potbelly stove. A bedroom for my parents and a bedroom for—we all slept together. A kitchen, whatever it is. No toilets, no bathtub, nothing. You had to go out to public bath houses to get cleaned up and that. That's in Philadelphia. It was in the early thirties. Then the Depression came and it was even worse than that. Nobody worked. Nobody had anything. My father never made much money. He wasn't skilled at anything. Whatever he could get. My mother didn't have any money. So she begged for food. She went to the Jewish—you're Jewish, I gather? And she went to the Jewish...In the ghettos of Philadelphia, like New York or Baltimore, there was a marketplace open with pushcarts and whatnot. She asked the butcher if she can sit there and at the end of the day and they'll give her a bone, only the bones. So a little piece of meat on there and took the marrow and cook the soup. Soup was our only meal that we had. Then she went to a chicken house, live chicken or dead chicken, and they cut up not the thighs, the feet. It was thrown away. So they gave her a bushel full of that. She took it home, cooked it 2 on the potbelly stove, and peeled off the skin, scraped some meat and made a soup out of it, either rice or beans. That's all we had. Breakfast consisted of hot water, maybe a slice of bread, if we had any. So growing up at that time and being poor, did you know you were poor as a kid? No, no. Everybody was that way. Everybody was that way. Now you're defined to get fluency. Oh, this is upper class, lower. Everyone was. In the history of that period of time in 1929, fall of '29, we had a Republican president, Hoover, Herbert Hoover. At that time the banking system did it, caused it, the greed, the whatnot. It was never regulated, never, nothing. They did whatever. If you wanted to make money, you go to a printer and authorize you to collect money. People didn't understand. Most of the people were illiterate. That's the life I started with and that became a seed within me to be a self-survivor just like from the Holocaust. How do you succeed from atrocity, from bad lifestyles? You have to be very, very creative and endure unbelievable things. So what was your father's name? Samuel. And my mother's name was Fanny. A wonderful lady. Fortunately, not by my design, I inherited all her genes. She was a wonderful lady. She was uneducated; she had wisdom. She was a pacifier; she never argued. To this day, I can't argue and I walk away, and that defeated my first wife. I stopped talking. If you stop talking to a wife, you're dead. [Laughing] So you learn. If you've got everything good, you don't think of it; you think it's coming to you; it will always be there, and you're reckless about your behavior and whatnot. I couldn't afford that. So was religion important in your upbringing? Religion meant nothing to me; I'll tell you that. But in those days, everybody walked; there was no transportation. You couldn't afford transportation, a nickel or three cents on a trolley car. It's 3 a lot of money. When you have nothing it's a lot of money. They walked around. My mother wanted me to—so she gave me twenty-five cents, fifty cents. He spent an hour each time she.. .until I learned what to do. Then it was time for my bar mitzvah. There was no such thing as that. So the rabbi found somebody—rented a basement to him, earth. There was no paving, nothing, earth. No lights. Candle lights or little lamps they had there. On boxes I stood and said all my stuff and whatnot. The food that came afterwards, my mother spent fifty cents to buy two big herring cut into pieces; that's all there was. And we couldn't eat that day because that fifty cents was...That's the conditions. Everybody went through the same thing. We had such camaraderie, everybody. When you're poor and you think about will I have something to eat the next day? There's a commonality within a community. If you have your independence, I don't need this; I don't need her or him or whatnot. The concept of being a survivor is so strong, you survive no matter what happens. That's how I had my bar mitzvah. But I was bar mitzvahed again in Masada in the eighties because I was active the second time, completely different time. So how did you decide to do that? I'll tell you. I'll tell you. You don’t want to go there yet, okay. I want to do it in increments. In 1929,1 went to high school, Central High School in Philadelphia. It was a very, very good institution. The building was built in the eighties. It was like a fortress, granite and whatnot, in the center of the city of Philadelphia. I lived about two miles away from there and I had to walk. I had no shoes. So my mother went to the ghetto marketplace and bought a pair of sneaks for fifty cents or twenty-five cents and it had holes in it. So she put stuff in there, put paper and whatnot. Of course, the water went through, the snow, 4 because there's cold weather in Philadelphia. No hat, no raincoat, nothing, walking two miles a day in all kinds of weather. But I walked against buildings so it protected me a bit. All the kids went through the same thing at school because everybody was poor. Was it a Jewish neighborhood? Oh, yes, the ghetto. There was better for people who had a little bit more money. So they lived in better environment that had a synagogue. All the schools were walking distance to schools. The school I went to, the elementary school, was about three blocks away from where I lived. There was no plumbing in the schoolhouse, no plumbing, no toilets. There were no drinking fountains. The trough for horses; that's the water that we drank. Then they had two buildings, one for girls and one for boys, wooden buildings; it was a public toilet for girls and boys. And we're too small where you sit down and if you don't hold your hands, you fall because with little bodies you could fall right through. That's the beginning of my life. So how long did you live in Philadelphia? Ninety-one years. Oh, from that time on. Then I remember my mother gave me—I was about nine, ten or eleven—ten cents to go to a movie on Saturday afternoon, ten cents to my brothers. It was nice because they had silent movies in those days. You had to read. And it was so fast, we couldn't read. It had a lot of terror scenes. Kids like terror; they get all excited. I was doing that for a while and then I see my mother and father never go out. They have no money to go out. That's why they can add to everyday life and children. That bothered me. So I felt bad my parents never go out. So I decided I'm not going to go to the movies; I'm going to save ten cents. In five years I never went to a movie. I took my parents out for the first time. We went downtown. We had a restaurant; they served us. We went to where they had vaudeville and stuff like that, first time. I felt so good. 5 Oh, yes, how special. Denying myself was okay because I got what I wanted, make them feel their kids—I was the only one—my two crazy brothers. You ever hear of Archie Bunker? Sure. These guys were Jewish Archie Bunkers. Were they older? One was older; one was younger. When I graduated in '33, 1933, nobody had jobs. So I hear somebody tell me there's a factory opening up in Philadelphia called Brunswood. They made men's outerwear, sportswear, like sweaters, jackets and so forth and so on. So I found out where it is. I walk because I have no money for trolleys. I came in and I asked for the manager and he said, "Yes." He said, "Do you have experience?" I said, "What kind of experience do I need?" They needed a young boy who works in cutting—cutting rooms were huge like this—cut up the garments, put them into like a laundry cart and tag and push it from here into the selling room. I needed experience. So I take the cart and push it. He says, "You're experienced." A dollar a day, one dollar a day. Was that good? It can't get any cheaper than that. I did that for about eight or nine months. Then the head cutter who was very, very good to me, he said, "Harry, you deserve better. Do you want to learn how to be a cutter?" Cutter was the highest class. That meant you get thirty-five dollars a week, from a dollar to thirty-five. Because that's a high skill to be a good cutter. Oh, yes. So he taught me. I was so eager to learn what to do and how to do it. I wasn't very tall. The tables are high; the cloth is packed up, and with electric machines, knives cutting this way. 6 Patterns are marked with chalk. Take the patterns and you follow it and go through with it. I was pretty skilled at that. At that time unions were coming about because working in sweat shops you needed a union because they'll get something done for you. I was very active and I became an organizer to organize. Was that an easy thing to get people organized there? No, it wasn't. No, it wasn't because my desire to have the working people a chance to make a living with dignity and whatnot because they never paid you or anything. When you work in a sweat shop, there is one toilet you have to ask for permission to use and a bucket for water. In Philadelphia humid weather and one bucket...So we had to chip in a penny to get a piece of ice to put in there. See, conditions like that you cannot believe that molded my life from that point to where I am now. I did very, very well there. After three years management said to me, "How would you like to be manager? We're opening up a plant near Reading, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia." He said, "They have a vacant plant there. We can get it almost for nothing." He says, "I want you to prepare eighty thousand dozen garments, every color, every style and whatnot, and it's your job to get it into boxes, make the buttons, the thread, the color, everything to match for that style on that." It would take a half a year or more than that. They gave me the time for that and I did it. I was able to do that. So they stored it in some area within the building. Then they had big trucks coming in filling them. I was there. I had no car; the management took me there. They rented a room for me. And Jesus Christ was behind my back in the room, Pennsylvania Dutch people. Oh, I see, okay. Right. I was a manager then and showed them what to do. I was very, very good how to arrange 7 the patterns to maximize how to use the cloth. I don't know what gave me, I don't know, I don't, but I was able to do so. So you were able to envision how to put those pieces together. Yes. I didn't have to work anymore, just put the patterns where it is. I learned how to make patterns later on. I made a lot of money in Philadelphia working for small shops. I was called upon. That's another part of that. I'm very familiar with garment industry. So I really appreciate the skill that you needed. So after a while, the local manager of the union in Philadelphia called David Dubinsky, he was in New York. He was the head of the garment industry, a very sharp guy. We had talked and whatnot. He said, "I'm going to offer you an offer that you come to New York. I'll get you an apartment. I'll get you a car. I'll send you to University of Wisconsin for labor education and when you graduate you'll be traveling around the whole country educating the people." Well, that sounded so good. That's like education to me. I knew what I was talking about. I knew I had the feeling and whatnot and that was good. At that time my brothers...One was in the Navy. His ship was torpedoed. He was able to get out. My older brother worked in a Philadelphia Navy yard, in a shipyard, erecting big refrigeration systems on a boat. So he was exonerated; he didn't have to go to war. So they decided to open up a commercial refrigeration. In those days, it was iceboxes, everything ice, ice, ice, to be mechanical refrigeration. That was right after the war ended in '45. All the industries opened up for making stuff for commerce, for everyday business. So you did this with one of your brothers, did you say? Yes, yes. That's when I got out of the industry, of the garment industry. There was a big debate in my family. I said, "This is the opportunity of my life." My parents said to me, "Your brothers 8 want to build—isn't it better to be in business for yourself?" They had the overwhelming...And so I—I missed the other. By the way, while I was in Philadelphia, they put me on a labor board in Philadelphia. I was twenty-one or twenty-two. All the people were fifty, sixty, seventy, old people. That's the labor council, anything with labor in Philadelphia. The city was over two million people. Now it's not that way anymore. So when I left, they wished me lots of luck and whatnot. Later on I saved our business. Because when we were in the commercial refrigeration business, we happened to be located in a rented little store next to a big bank because the people that go to a bank are business people. I didn't think of the idea of being there; it was by accident. A guy who was head of the Lintons Lunch—that's a family that had thirty-five or thirty-seven restaurants around the city, big commissary, a bakery and whatnot—stopped and he said, "Are you guys interested in doing the service work? We need somebody there." I said, "Sure, we'll do it." I sent one of my brothers in there. Everything was fine. Money would come in twenty-four hours a day. The stores are open. And he said, "One thing it is that you have to be...Are you union?" And I wouldn't answer him. Of course, I'm not union. So I went to the labor council. I said, "Hey, buddies, I need your help." They said, "What's the help?" "I need a union card." They gave me as many as I wanted, for my brothers. We only had one employee at that time. I saved the business on that. Oh, wow. By virtue of getting the cards. That multiplied.. .! can't begin to tell you how fast it multiplied. We worked twenty-four hours a day because if they call and we don't come and there is food perishing there because there's not refrigeration, we'd be responsible. We had to be available at all times. They had no cell phones in those days, no computers, nothing like that. It was all 9 either ingenuity or avail yourself. So I had a telephone service taking the calls after we close out at nighttime. They called up. And I called the restaurant, whoever it was. "We have to get our material together. The first thing in the morning." They said, "Okay." So then I make sure the employee, instead of coming in to do the work, stopped at the store first, do that number one. I have to be able to...I'm very innovative in doing that. Beyond that it became so huge, so huge. In those days you signed up for fifty, sixty, seventy thousand dollars, a quarter of a million dollars by a handshake, no contracts. People trusted. Not like now, not like now. What was the name of the business? KB, Kogan Brothers. Okay, good. KB is Kogan Brothers. Our business multiplied. Then I thought that we don't have enough. I felt very insecure because a small business, during the season you're doing very well, but if it gets cold weather, very little business comes in. So I looked in the Yellow Pages and there was an organization called Frankfurt Unity. They had about fifty pop-mom stores. So I wrote everything down, the telephone number and the address and whatnot. I crafted a letter that we're introducing ourselves as we give service twenty-four hours a day and we will come to your store, check out your equipment. Minor things, no charge. And we'll get acquainted and give you an inspection and tell you if you need anything or if you don't need so you'll know. It's up to you to call us. The volume that I got back, unbelievable. I don't know what motivated me, but it worked so fine. I put up our sticker, "Call Kogan Brothers," and phone number. We did a fantastic business with that plus Lintons Lunch, plus the others. Word led around so forth and so on. Very, very, very, successful, and then beyond belief. But I still felt insecure. So in the early fifties, about '54 or '55,1 said to my brothers, "I'm going to invest." I had 10 no idea what investment was, none whatsoever. So I called up a stock brokerage company to come in to advise us what we want to do. My brothers weren't interested, but I was. He goes through his spiel and so forth and so on. I say to him, "I'm going to invest, but I don't want to lose." He says, "Harry, there isn't such thing. There is risk." But he said, "There is risk and then to be safer investing in you to lose—gas companies, electric companies, water companies, telephone companies and whatnot. You don't make a lot of money, but your money is safe." I said, "That's where I'm going to be. I don't want to take risks. I'd rather make less, have peace of mind, not to think I'm going to gamble." I didn't know what the word gamble was, anyway. What motivated me, I just don't know. So at that time Florida became a haven for people from the northern eastern coast of Florida. Florida Power and Light, the biggest electric company in Florida...I said, "I'm going to buy." The shares were selling for less than two dollars, about one seventy, seventy-five. I bought ten thousand. I didn't have the money for it; I bought it on margin and I paid off all along. That's what it was then. I don't know if those things happen now. After fifteen years I sold it out and I made three hundred and fifty thousand. Now, that money doesn't seem a lot now. It's like three million now; exactly it. That gave me confidence. I felt good. Nobody did it. I did it, I did it, I did it by myself. That's marvelous. The strength and the focus that I have to do this. And going back to my school days, I used to sit up late at night studying for my tests. I was stupid; as far as intellect, I had none. I studied all night and I failed all the examinations. Girls in the neighborhood wanted me to go out and to play with them and to go out and whatnot. I said, "I'm sorry; I have to devote myself to make something of myself. I don't go with girls. I don't want to bother." At a young age, it's 11 unbelievable. So you invest in utilities. You’re successful at that. Exactly it. Then I sold that. Then we were doing very good in air-conditioning. Carrier Corporation is our biggest one. They invented air-conditioning, a guy from New York, very big. During the war there was air-conditioning in all the naval craft. So now we’re talking about World War n. Yes, we're talking about World War II. Their stock, also I bought it very low. It reached a hundred and I sold out. Then Pennsylvania Railroad, railroad was very good in those years. And the utilities again. I knew how to move around. I made more money than I did in business. I made more money in that. So did you ever think about becoming a stockbroker? Oh, no. No, no, no. I liked what I was doing. There was something about it I liked that I was doing that being in business you have to be innovative. So what was your job? I was in the office. I'm not mechanical. I was in the office. In the office I arranged repairing everything, all the legal patterns, the financing and whatnot. Many times when we finished a job, they owed us ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five thousand dollars. So I said, "How about instead of going to a bank, you sign the papers that you owe us the money at five percent?" That's all we asked for and nothing else. So we got extra money on that. When we first started the business, we had no capital. So I said to my brothers, "I don't need the money right away because I have other money coming into me. You take whatever you need for your family needs. I can't dictate to you. My money, if it's there, I'll catch up with it all and pay for it. You can't get more than you're needing." Because our money flow was in season 12 good and off season it was bad. We had no capital money to invest in there. They followed my ideas. At the end of the year, depending how much money we had, we got bonuses, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five thousand dollars, depending on business. We made sure we had a lot more, building up more so we can loan more money. When I came in my mind was... And then in 1955, just about ten years after World War II ended, there was a war with...Korean War. The reason why the United States went there is because Communism was spreading all over and the idea was we don't want to be engulfed with that. The United States went to war, North Korea and South Korea. We lost. We lose every war. To this day we lose the wars. We talk about us being so strong, but we lost the war and we gave up. That's why there's North Korea and South Korea. So the head of Lintons Lunches that we had this contract with, I called him. I said, "I want to talk to you because during the war years, American factories don't make anything other than war effort. You know that in those years if you needed something, you wouldn't have any kind of refrigeration. How about buying machines that will keep you going? We'll inventory it and you'll have it. We know what your needs are in each store." I made up a big list and whatnot. He says, "Hike the idea." A tractor trailer comes. It was over three hundred thousand dollars. That's a lot of money in those days. He liked the idea that we're protecting him. As we needed, we took out the machine. It was a lot of money coming in. I said, "What the hell am I going to do?" I said to my brothers, "Let them come in and I'll buy—have to get a deposit. I make money out of it." I was able to get Lintons Lunch 10 percent off. I was making money coming in for that. My mind is focused on that. My brothers didn't know about it and they were very satisfied with it, the fact that I was doing that. It enriched ourselves. Afterwards, with so much money coming in, it's totally unbelievable. We were getting rewards for it. We sold so much air-conditioning that we were given trips out of the 13 country. So I went to Switzerland. I took my girlfriend. A date, going to Switzerland? We went to the island of Hispaniola, which is Haiti and...Oh, I forgot right now. In the Caribbean islands. I felt like an international now. So you weren't married at that time. No, no. I was too young then. Were your brothers married? My brothers were married and had children. They used to fight. Everything was an argument. They never had a peaceful moment. I never socialized with my brothers because I hate fighting. I hate anger. I hate that. That's not my build-up on that. So I said, "From now on, if you want me to be here, no more arguments. Take it out of here. I don't want the employees to hear that." Did that work? Yes. They listened to me. But I never socialized with them. So what happened in the sixties? What were the highlights of the sixties for you? In the sixties, our business was just growing. At that time I thought to be part of the Jewish community. I gave money to—I never asked my brothers—gave money to the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia. In those days they had a unique way, the Federation, that instead of calling in the whole community, they divided the physicians to come in at one meeting, the architects in another meeting, the food industry another. But if you were amongst your own peers, you can't be chintzy because they know who you are. The psychology of that is very, very good and I picked up on that. So they put me with the food industry. So I learned all the restaurant people, the food providers and processors, and I became very friendly with them. I said, "Why don't you give us some business?" From then on, there was a flood of business coming in. My brothers had a fight with me, why I gave five hundred dollars—in those days a 14 lot of money to give five hundred dollars—to the Federation. I said, "How about this business coming in?" Their minds were narrow. They didn't understand there is a trigger mechanism; you do this and it's going to be this and this and this. So the business continued to thrive. Oh, fantastic. It was so intense you had to be alert. You had to do that. We had one employee, then we had two employees and then three. I said, "If you go out on a service call to repair something, make sure you repair it. I don't care how much time you spend there, I don't want a call back because they'll say, 'The guy doesn't know what he's doing; I'm not going to call you anymore.' So don't do that. If you're in trouble, don't guess. Go out of the place, go to a public telephone, call me, and I'll tell you what to do. I'll send one of my brothers out to the job and he'll make sure that it's done right." It worked fine. It kept less pressure on the employee that they had to be skillful, but they learned that way, too. My brothers were never in the business; they were always outside looking for business, doing stuff outside. They were more in the sales. I was the central one. I kept moving things around and around. At one time I had Bill go, one of the employees, to a job and he was very nasty to the owner of the store. Whatever it was, when he left, the guy called up, "I never want to see Bill come here again. He's nasty. He insulted me. And I don't need that." I said, "What was the bill?" He said, "About a hundred and twenty." "I'll send you a check; you're not going to pay for this; it's on Harry." He says, "You mean it?" "Yes, yes, exactly it." So at the end of the day, the guy came in and gave me the money. I said, "Bill, what happened there?" I didn't accuse him. "Oh, he was bothering me. I'm not in the mood to hear his stuff." I said, "I want to ask you something, Bill. Who pays your salary?" He says, "You 15 do." "No, customers pay." He said, "What do you mean customers?" "If I have no customers, I can't pay you. You have to understand that." Yes. Well, indulge me here for a minute so we can tie this to La