Saturday, December 30, 2006


It was 1963 when I graduated from Borger High School as a shy young man. I remember Gene Mayfield, the mild mannered coach of the Borger Bulldogs football team. In my mind he fit the mold of a Tom Landry.

Mayfield was a quiet man. A man of integrity. He didn’t need to lie, curse or brag to be a winner. He was a straight shooter who inspired a team of young men to be Class 4-A State Finalists. In my Borgan Annual he wrote, "outside of being tardy, I hardly knew you were in Study Hall. Seems like you were always busy. Come to think of it I was tardy about as much as you. Best wishes for Happiness. Coach Mayfield."

He probably never knew how his presence inspired a student in his study hall class.

I would thank Coach Mayfield today for the example he set for me and others. The shy kid with sweaty palms and shaky knees in front of a high school speech class grew up. Today, I’m seldom tardy and have learned to be outspoken in my convictions and beliefs.

Throughout my life there have been other Coach Mayfields.

I recall a private meeting with Trammell Crow dealing with a corporate brochure we were producing. I asked him how he would describe his company in one sentence. He replied, "Son, we are nothing but a back woods Camelot." Mr. Crow was referring to "Camelot" as related to John Kennedy. Funny thing was that few people knew about Trammell Crow at that time, The Trammell Crow Company owned more real estate property worldwide than any other developer. Trammel Crow was a quiet man like Coach Mayfield.

I’ll never forget the embarrassing moment in a board room trying to present a multimedia slide presentation. We had convinced our client, Justin Industries to purchase a new $3,000 projector. My staff spent months producing this presentation to meet a deadline for stock analyst in New York City. We made a practice run by playing the presentation before hand in our offices.

We set up the presentation in the client's board room. John Justin (Chairman of the Board) and 4 other corporate officers entered the room and took their positions at the table. I pressed the play button and nothing happened. When I looked at the expressions on faces surrounding me, I regressed to the kid with the sweaty hands and shaky knees. The President’s temper was going ballistic. Mr. Justin calmly got out of his chair walked down the length of the table where I was standing and simply said "Just call and have a technician come here to fix the projector." Problem solved.

A proud memento I have today is an ad with a headline, "What Winners Wear". John Justin is sitting in a chair wearing a cowboy hat and Justin Boots. Surrounding him are George Strait, Randy White, Jim Shoulders, Dale Earnhart, and Nolan Ryan…all wearing Justin Boots. The ad is signed, "To my friend Glenn. Best regards. John Justin.

John Justin has passed on. He was a man like Coach Mayfield and Trammell Crow. They were all straight shooters. Their successes came from inspiring others around them through examples of honesty and integrity. Each one of them were winners leading winning teams.