My Office Window Overlooks Downtown
Three days a week, I work as the President and CEO of the Executive Service Corps (ESCCO.) This is a perfect “retirement job” for me as it means I can still help make a difference in a community that I love enough to have moved here twice. But it is such a reduction in hours and stress from 40 years of 70-hour weeks it hardly seems like work!
From ESCCO’s office suite in midtown, I am looking out toward the First National Center. Today I received a press release from Price Edwards announcing that the sale of that building had been completed. This is significant to me because it is a unique landmark, and because it was the location of my wife’s office for ten years. Like many of you, we’ve enjoyed social events at the old Beacon Club and in the marquis banking lobby. It will be good to see it survive and thrive.
Two names were prominent in the release, in addition to the buyers/developers. Craig Tucker brokered the $23 million transaction. Craig was my next door neighbor in Faircloud and a very talented professional. And Judge Steve Friot was credited with setting up the procedure that would be necessary to proceed to this point. Steve is the first person to get me to eat lamb fries, and even though he resorted to trickery to accomplish that tasting, he is a most honorable and wise man. It was a privilege to be interviewed by the FBI when Steve was up for his federal judgeship.
Through the same window, I can see the west wall of the Memorial Park. This community’s response to the bombing was so amazing it called us back from Los Angeles when I retired; I wanted to live out my life among people who responded as Oklahomans did to that terrible tragedy.
Looking to the right side of my window, I can see the Devon Tower. My daughter in law spent five years on that project, working for Gensler designing the building’s interior. The beauty of that building, and the commitment to this community by Larry Nichols that it embodies, always gives me a lift.
Framing these elements of our downtown, on my windowsill, I see these mementoes:
A plaque, made from a section of a fifty year old tree, thanking me for helping Campfire rebuild Camp DaKaNi after the June 13, 1998 tornado.
A framed photo of my Dallas grandson Max, age 5, who shares my birthday. He was almost inconsolable after the Dallas Cowboys loss, just like his Dad was as a small boy.
A little stuffed tiger, sent along with many others by Cub Scouts in California after the Murrah bombing. They wanted us to share them with anyone who needed a friend.
A unique framed plaque, given to me in gratitude by a volunteer whom I’d convinced to step down as his wife was dying, so he could spend as much time as possible with her.
A Kiwanis bell, one of many thank you gifts for speaking to civic groups over the years. Nice as it is to be given such a token, I like our tradition of a warm coat for a kid more!
A framed photo of my Edmond grandson Cresten. It’s great fun having one so close by that we can just grab him for some fun whenever we get the chance!
A crystal US flag paperweight, a birthday gift from a Board President, possessing one of the sharpest minds I have ever known, now suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.
Growing older is not always a good thing, but growing older in a special place surrounded by wonderful memories is! If you’d like to build some great memories by helping nonprofits improve their performance, let me know and we’ll talk about why I love ESCCO.
Paul, I officed downtown from 1968-1984, always looking out my window as well. It is good to know that we share a reverence for landmarks. I think our fascination with the old, our excitement about the new and the way we blend place and family is a good thing. You are a very perceptive guy. Great article!!
A special Window on the World and your own world!
Great article Paul. Thanks, Pat