SOMETIMES THINGS JUST DON’T WORK OUT THE WAY YOU WANT — THAT’S LIFE
In the mid eighties I resided in Dalton, Georgia. The city is located roughly twenty five miles south of Chattanooga Tennessee and about ninety miles northwest of Atlanta. A beautiful city in the mountains that played an interesting part in the civil war and American industry.
Before coming to Dalton I had a very interesting career in the floor covering business. I had been employed by four carpet cushion manufactures, and an equal number of carpet mills. A lot of movement for a thirty eight year old guy.
For your information, Dalton was the center of the carpet industry. Today, Dalton and the surrounding north west Georgia area is the center of the entire floor covering industry.
While in New York I was in a reconstruction mode having had serious career issues. I found myself in the strife of a difficult divorce as well. The heat was on and I remember one of the old timers once telling me that if I was really serious about being successful in floor covering it would be wise to move to Dalton, Georgia. The town’s reputation had tremendous lure for a young man like me especially since I wanted to move on with my life. What the hell, I took the shot.
While I was there, Dalton was a wild west of wealth and industrial growth. It was an exciting place to be. An entrepreneur’s dream. Aside from other titles, Johnny Carson once mentioned that Dalton was “not only the carpet capital of the world but was also the divorce capital of the United States. In addition Dalton had more millionaires per capita than any other city in America.” My kind of town.
Many people from the New York vicinity also migrated to Dalton due to the regions activity involving domestic area rugs and chenille bed spread production. These people eventually developed the wide width broadloom carpet business. An offshoot of chenille.
The vicinity was also known for very attractive women. It was not uncommon for a transplant from the north to find one of the local jewels working in a mill or on farm and marry them. Wealth and power were terrific aphrodisiacs to quote Henry Kissinger. I know from personal experience that this was a truth. Many of these woman would use their new found relationships as an opportunity get out of Dodge. Many would stay and improve their standing by participating in the newly acquired family business. Most had dreams. Many of them were very talented and intelligent people.
Funny thing, while in Dalton I became a millionaire, got married and divorced, and owned two carpet mills. A trifecta.
Dalton had it’s share of very talented marketers and creative people. One well known carpet company had a management staff consisting of a group of afore mentioned people. A gang of fast living, affluent, young and colorful guys. They had a very tremendous following and were considered a hot card. It seemed as if everybody did business with them. Very tough competition and swashbuckling . I had the honor of hanging out with this group even though I was a fierce competitor of theirs.
Twice a year the industry would sponsor a number of trade shows around the country including Dalton. These shows were known as markets. Each mill would try to best the other with lavish parties, events and the presence of celebrities on order to gain attention. Even though a good time was had by all, it was always the same old, same old. Finally the wild bunch came up with a new and very welcomed event. A beauty contest. The idea was a SMASH HIT. Most of these markets were attended by men. There was lots of carrying at these well attended markets. More like conventions.
This bunch must have stayed up nights putting the concept together. It had to be done secretly because I had no idea as to it’s creation.
The event was called the Ressaca Beach Beauty Contest. This gave the guys the opportunity to solicit contestants and to gather a huge crowd at there space during the trade show in Dalton. The humorous thing about it was there was a small town called Resacca but there was no beach. This made the idea even more fun. These guys cornered the market and it was an epic move on the industry. We all loved it and it became a serious annual event.
As I mentioned earlier, the Dalton area was known for beautiful woman and that is true and provable. Three beautiful celebrity woman from Dalton are Debra Norville, Marla Maples, and my wife Carole.
MARLA MAPLES WAS THE FIRST WINNER OF THE MISS RESACCA BEACH CONTEST
Marla and her family were very well known around town and after a lengthy courtship she became DONALD TRUMP’S second wife.
During the engagement Trump visited Dalton a number of times. He even showed up a high school football games. Ingratiating himself amongst the people of Dalton seemed to be one of his missions. He even flew a few people to New York for job interviews. He really had it for Marla. He was intent on becoming an insider. His book “The Art of the Deal” was hot and he was “the man” at the time.
Noticing his desire participate in the local scene I developed a somewhat simple scheme in an effort to get part of the action. After much consideration and planning I contacted my high school buddy Barry who was an attorney in New Jersey and presented my idea. He agreed it was a novel and clever gambit.
Here was the plan. We would create a business and call it Trump Commercial Carpet,Inc. We would incorporate in New Jersey. That way it would be kept from the busy bodies in Dalton and eleviate the risk of being scooped. By creating this new company we had the opportunity to make some real money with a three pronged approach. To have more impact on Trump decided to use the format and artwork from “The Art of the Deal” for our sample folders and labels. The following was the general plan.
1. Trump might decide to purchase carpet from us. With all his building and hotels this would be a natural and instant success.
2. He might want to become a client or buy into our company.
3. Trump may force us to cease and desist in which case we would receive free advertising.
Any one of these scenarios would have been a money maker. Also, Barry’s desire to participate validated the project.
Well the outcome was not the best. Donald’s company fell on hard times. He had serious reversals and fell generally out of favor with banks and the public. Just our luck. After forming the business we let the corporation become inactive.
Today I have the first tax certificate hanging on a wall in my office. The corporate kit sits on my conference table as a conversation piece. Before Trump ran for President, Barry and I discussed the possibility of reactivating the corporation. Barry didn’t want to be bothered and suggested that I attempt to find a berth on his TV show.
I think I have a very valuable collectible and piece of Americana. Out of respect for Donald Trump I’d like to offer part of the stock certificates to him as a gift with no thought of any compensation at all. The rest to be given to my family as a remembrance of the cleverness of this old man.
I might give Barry one stock certificate. Only one you ask. You see, Barry is a Democrat.
So goes the best plans of mice and men.