Conversations on the Bench: Life Lessons from the Wisest Man I Ever Knew

Conversations on the Bench: Life Lessons from the Wisest Man I Ever Knew

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I only met Sebastian PerAcy in person on one occasion, but that was enough for him to make a lasting and indelible impression. Ia€™ll never forget that day. Even though it happened many, many years ago, it still lingers as fresh in my mind as if it were only yesterday. It was a hot, humid September morning in South Carolina in 2007. I had been invited to the Dunes Golf a Beach Club in Myrtle Beach to participate in a symposium that was hosted by the think tank, Thinking Outside the Boxe, what was supposed to be a gathering of great intellectuals to discuss the worlda€™s problems and come up with solutions to the pressing issues of the day. I didna€™t really know what to expect. I had received an e-mail from Robbie Clinger and Sebastian PerAcy of Thinking Outside the Boxe back in early 2006. They wanted to know my thoughts on the Dubai Ports World takeover of PaO. There had been some controversy over an Arab company taking over the UK-based ports operator that controlled five or six container terminals on the east coast of the US. Robbie and Sebastian had found out about Cartwright Industriesa€™ shipping operations and, for whatever reason, wanted my opinion on the matter; I gave it to them obligingly. They asked some clever and intelligent questions, and I looked up their website to find out more about their think tank. I remember being impressed by the depth and scope of their work, but I couldna€™t really find out much about them as individuals. Off and on for the next year, they kept in touch with me, e-mailing me questions or asking for my opinion about certain economic or business matters or geopolitical events. I guess they liked what I had to say or respected my opinion, as controversial as it was at times. It was the spring of 2007 when Robbie and Sebastian first made mention of the Thinking Outside the Boxe Annual Symposium. They presented it to me as a chance to meet with other intelligent folks to discuss the issues of the day and try to come up with feasible solutions. They wanted it to be a real think tank, with multiple perspectives and input from people of all walks of life. I was intrigued, and seeing as though Ia€™d recently written a book set in Myrtle Beach (albeit in the 1940s), Murder at the Ocean Forest, I figured I might as well see what their gathering was all about. I hadna€™t been to the Dunes Golf a Beach Club before, though I had heard much about it and recalled seeing it on television and in magazines; it hosted the Senior PGA Tour back in the 1990s. I expected it to be like any other country club, stuffy and full of ostentatious people who hadna€™t really done much in life other than ride their wealthy and powerful parentsa€™ coattails and live off of old money, generational wealth. Thus, I was almost convinced Robbie and Sebastian would be of that ilk, but I was pleasantly surprised it was not at all the case for the club or the people. The lavish clubhouse, the hospitable staff, and the $100 million view were astounding, a panorama of the blue Atlantic beyond the sand dunes that separated the Dunes Club from any other private club. The driver pulled the tinted-window Town Car under the porte cochere and opened the door for me. I could smell the salty sea air, which was quite invigorating. I could faintly hear the waves crashing ashore on the other side of the sand dunes, but other than that, there was a peacefulness and serenity that enveloped the place. As I gazed over the vast green lawn leading toward the sand dunes, my mind wandered from my purpose for visiting. I was quickly jolted back to reality by the sound of a young womana€™s greeting. a€œMr. Cartwright?a€ she said with some authority, holding the double-doors open. I snapped my head in her direction and nodded. a€œThata€™s right, a€ I said. She smiled and motioned me inside. a€œMr. Clinger is expecting you, a€ she said. a€œI suppose he is, a€ I assured her, perhaps a little too bluntly and coldly. She was very beguiling, but I wasna€™t one to be fooled by herRobbie was busy putting the billiard balls on their table. He smiled and glanced my way. a€œAnd his disability all started right here at this very billiard table.a€ He tucked his paisley silk tie between the buttons on his shirt about a third of the way anbsp;...

Title:Conversations on the Bench: Life Lessons from the Wisest Man I Ever Knew
Author: Digger Cartwright
Publisher:Xlibris Corporation - 2013-03-26

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