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My Dad Was My Getaway Driver

Throughout the year, my staff and I have quietly mentioned and brought back some memories from the past 20 years of being welcomed into your home. Some days, it feels like we just began the Webb Weekly; other days, it seems like we’ve been doing it for 50 years. I’m sure you can appreciate this in the business world we live in today, especially if you’re a family-owned and hands-on business.

With that being said, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt there is nothing I would rather be doing. I feel so very blessed every day to have this opportunity right here, where I’ve lived my entire life and have been surrounded by such amazing people. I am so honored that so many have become like family. The remarkable thing is often, when I meet folks for the first time, it’s like they’ve known me for 20 years.

Even if it’s a day when those business problems created by real-world worry make it feel like it’s been 50 years, I get out of the office, visit my clients, and talk with so many of you that I can’t help but smile. I wish I could give a hug to everybody that provides me with this positive energy. And I don’t believe it’s a coincidence when somebody calls me, texts me, or lets me know they’re praying for me when I need this positive energy boost.

I also don’t believe it’s a coincidence that in our 20th year, this week’s Webb Weekly falls on the date my Father was called home from the mortal world. It has been 11 years since his passing, which is hard to believe. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t think about my Father. I thank so many of you who still tell me stories that often add to the memories. I have learned much about my Dad through this; there’s been a lot of laughs, sometimes a tear, sometimes “My Dad really did that?”

I think fathers and sons who work together, especially in a family-owned business, understand the stress and strain it can put on the relationship. This was often the case between me and my Father. I will be honest with you; he wasn’t the easiest father to work with at times. And I am sure there were days when he would have told you I wasn’t the easiest son and wished I didn’t work for him. Just so you know, I am laughing as I am writing this.

There is a message in this for all fathers and sons: there is a much greater picture than everyday business decisions or disagreements. The day will come when you don’t have the opportunity to work together and talk about whatever the topic is.

Please understand the true blessing of this time spent together. There is so much I would ask my Father if I had the opportunity, and it has nothing to do with business. I will say some of it has to do with stories many of you have told me, and again, I’m laughing as I’m penning this.

As our cover reads, Happy Halloween, I will share some thoughts about my Father that always brings a smile to my face this time of year. My Father loved Halloween, especially the trick side of it — and he had no problem sharing this with his kids or anybody who wanted to be involved. I’d better add none were done in a malicious manner, more like a joking and celebration of the day. Although Halloween did start about two weeks prior to October 31st on his calendar. This is due to some folks figuring out he was behind the tricks.

My Dad actually took me down to Sylvan Dell to get corn, explained the whole corning process to me, and then had a hit list for me. My first corning experience was with my Dad as a getaway driver. My first toilet papering experience was with my Dad. He would like to be careful in executing this prank. That way, you could get every tree bush, cover the house in different directions, and even wrap the mailbox. Then, get everybody back in the car and drive away. He had it all timed out. I was a little slow to get back to the vehicle one time, and he drove off!

And, of course, he taught me all about placing a real estate sign in someone’s yard who really didn’t want to sell their house.

He would sometimes add “Open House” to his sign. Remember, there were no cell phones back in the day to check quickly. Knowing my Father, he probably even let the realtor in on the spoof.

Come to think about it, he would have somebody else put the sign in the yard. You weren’t going to get a picture of him on a Polaroid camera for Smitty, the cop, to investigate.

I will finish this week up with a little bit of seriousness. I was very blessed to have my Father as long as I did. He definitely was a believer in tough love, and that helped make me who I am. Whether it was sports, business, or family, he always wanted the best for me.

Make the time to share the time with the loved ones in your life. Remember, we all only have so much time.

May God Bless and Help America.

Jim Webb