Bar Talk with Phil Farco
Bar Talk w/ Phil Farco
with Attorney Brad Parker
Hi, I’m Brad Parker the attorney you want, but hope you never need and this is another edition of Bar Talk: the musings of attorneys entrepreneurs and other interesting people. A podcast by people who don’t have to be famous, they just have to be interesting. Each episode will tackle topics big and small sometimes tiny faced by attorneys entrepreneurs and other Fascinating People who know every day you wake up it’s a good day. It takes a little more to make it a great one.
BRAD PARKER: Welcome to another edition of Bar Talk today. I’m Brad Parker the lawyer you want but hope you never need and this is Bar Talk: the musings of lawyers entrepreneurs and other interesting people. And today, I’m honored to have my good friend Phil Farco here. Phil is an entrepreneur and he’s damn interesting too so I think you’ll find out in a few minutes, but I met Phil through his son Steve Farco and the mayor of Bedford Jim Griffin. Phil runs a business called Mason-Dallas here in Euless and has run it since 1978. Phil won’t you introduce yourself.
PHIL FARCO: Hi, my name is Phil Farco. My business is Mason-Dallas. We’re located as a Brad said in Euless, Texas. We incorporated in October of 1978. As you can tell by my accent, I’m not Texan. I came from a small town little Northeast of in East Texas little Northeast of Longview called New York City.
BP: Just a little east of there just a little bit. What is what is Mason-Dallas do?
PF: Well to start out we were in totally the vibration control business. We prevent equipment, moving equipment pumps compresses air conditioners from shaking buildings, you need to understand that all mechanical equipment rotating reciprocating equipment vibrates and the vibrations create energy that’s transmitted to the structure. So what we do is put in a resilient material that acts as a filter to minimize the amount of energy from that piece of equipment from Getting into the structure and we do this by introducing anything from simple rubber pads, to rubber mounts, spring mounts and even air Springs and air Springs that kind of the Pinnacle of isolation. That’s as close as you’re going to get to a body, a free body floating in space where there’s no mechanical connection between the equipment and the structure.
BP: So it’s just a spring.
PF: It’s well, it’s a bladder bag filled with a or like you see on a trucks See You cabs at our trucks. You’re isolated to help the bumping of the road from from wearing out the drivers kidneys.
BP: Yeah, do they have that stuff on heavy equipment to now?
PF: Yeah, um, they actually have in our commercial dryers also and washers.
BP: Well, so your projects are here, you’re not doing homes and apartment buildings you’re Doing major construction commercial construction area.
PF: That’s that’s correct, you know things like wind sphere Opera House, Meyerson Concert Hall, Murchison Center Performing Arts Center up at UNT, Cowboys Stadium Cowboy headquarters, the the Ford complex. We did RadioShack headquarters, Pier One headquarters, the Bass buildings the bass buildings where the two towers in Fort Worth with the first job. I did in Fort Worth and that was about 83 or 84 the first major major job.
BP: Now, how big of a company is Mason-Dallas not Revenue wise, but just people that work there.
PF: Well, we’re about 14 people, but the way my business plan is set up we have Strategic Partners throughout the state of Texas and in Arkansas. So what what is a strategic partner? It’s a firm that’s just like ours they’re an independent rep agency. And what we do is we feed them quotations and we design product and we handle any problems that they have and all they are our eyes and ears on the road. They know their Customers so they sell our products so we have them and Austin San Antonio, Lubbock, the valley, Corpus Christi Little Rock, Springdale, Arkansas.
BP: Well, will you guys actually go out and install or do you just sell the product and the your strategic Partners install?
PF: Well on those products, we actually let the mechanical contractors install the product people like TDI in Dallas, Brandt Industries some of the very large contractors in town the bigger the job the more complicated the job the better. We we are it’s very difficult to sell a job that needs no design capability, needs no engineering, because you have all kinds of little vendors around that if popped up from India from China from Korea even even our vendors here in the States. They’re all less expensive Than us, but they really don’t offer the expertise that we do here in this market.
BP:So you’re pretty specialized. You got a very small Niche
PF: We are a very small Niche at this point. We have about 12 products though all accessory items. We have no major equipment. No air conditioners. No pumps. We sell flow control valves to limit the flow through the air conditioner coil. We have underlayment an architectural products, we have an underlayment that goes on two floors in condos like the Omni in Fort Worth, the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas and and other big multi-story hotels and condos.
BP: How’s business been since 1978? Growing?
PF: Well, it’s been up and down.
BP: I guess with any construction industry that’s right.
PF: That’s right. You know your cycle almost every seven years so but we’re in a really for the last eight nine years. Now the whole whole country has been on a up curve, upswing.
BP: Sure. Well let’s jump back a little bit, you know learn a bit little bit more about you and your parents and where you came from and you said you’re originally from New York, but with that accent I suspect it might have been even before before then a little bit.
PF: No It’s always been.
BP: The New York. Are you are your People from across the pond.
PF: Yes, they are.
BP: Where did they come from from?
PF: Campania, which is kind of in central about 1/3 from the from the boot in Italy up in the middle just at the base of the mountains is the area that my grandparents came from. My grandfather in 1896 my grandmother in 1914 and the other set of grandparents same kind of same region and again in the early 1900’s they came over. So my mom and dad were first generation and we are second generation.
BP: And you said New York.
PF: Yes, Queens New York, which is one of the five boroughs.
BP: And what did your parents do?
PF: My mom was a housewife we had I have four brothers yet five boys God she was naive when she got married, but we taught her. The and Dad he started out as a partner in a gas station as a mechanic. He served in the army during World War Two over in Italy by by chance, and then he came out went to work with a partner for gas station and in 1964, he and uncle and two partners started a kitchen cabinet factory and in the 60s and 70s it became a very large company in New York as a matter of fact Brad, as I was telling you earlier. They were the largest user of Wilsonart formica materials on Long Island.
BP: There was a little bit of construction going on.
PF: There was yes, the Hamptons were really booming in the in this late 60s, early 70s and so is the rest of the island.
BP; You know, I’ve never thought and I don’t want Digress too much but that must have been quite an experience for your father to go back to Italy to fight with the United States during World War Two. That’s go to have caused a…
PF: Well, he had never been there before and he spoke Italian. So yeah worked out for him.
BP: How interesting that’s all that’s a whole nother story in and of itself. Well, so why didn’t you go into the into the cabinet making business?
PF: I did as a kid. I mean the Summers I worked for them and then after high school, I told you earlier. I went to college for a semester thought electrical engineering was the thing I wanted to do and decided it wasn’t in the what I wanted to do. So I went into the kitchen cabinet business with him for a while and then decided that I really don’t want to work with my father.
PF: He was tough and not that I couldn’t take it. It’s just I didn’t want to work with him And I had to show him I could do something on my own.
BP: Did you like the worker was just working with your dad?
PF: No, I like to work and I kind of liked working with him, but he just didn’t want to do that for rest of my life. So I decided that I had taken drafting in high school. I decided that I go to a tech school for mechanical drafting and design and I did that graduated from there. Wound up wanting to move back to the city because my wife was still in the city and queen Side by this time. I was on the island my senior year. We moved to Long Island. I went to an agency in Jamaica New York, Jamaica Queens New York and showed my last drawing which was an exploded view of anti vibration mount for an automobile. And the guy says I just put a guy at two at a company that makes these things and the rest is history. I went for An interview the chief engineer hired me one day I said Tony, why’d you hire me? He said I liked your smile.
BP: Well, did you time you did that exploded you did you even have a concept or a notion that you might get into that business?
PF: I didn’t even know that business existed till he said I’ve I’ve got a I just put a fellow at a company that makes these things. I mean I Had no idea that it was there, but I was blessed because it was a fairly small company about six, seven years old three Partners Tony Slow to was the chief engineer. He’s the one that hired me and I was under his wing for the first four years. I worked in the engineering design Department after a year. I was running that department under his wing so somebody come up to me and ask me a question. I’d run to Tony he had to tell me what to tell him I’d go back and tell him great great learning experience one-on-one. And then in about 71-72, actually, I was offered a job as a sales manager, Regional sales manager now, I went from Tony to the two other partners one being Norm Mason who the company was named after one of the if not the most brilliant engineer I’ve ever ever known especially in this business. So I was lucky enough to work under Norm for six years or so directly. I mean, he looked at letters I wrote things I had to solve and I traveled the country working with reps hiring, training writing specifications.
BP: Were there many companies doing what Mason did?
PF: At that time they were about four but you got to remember it is a small there’s a niche industry. So four companies that time were a lot we had a better product. We had great service. Norm was very much the sales entrepreneur though. He was an engineer. He wanted to make products better. And so the way he started his he wrote a specification and he took it to acoustical Consultants, acoustic Consultants of the guys that designed the Opera House, The interior of the Opera House’s, large conference rooms that set the precedent for the industry and Through the Years, he became number one in the world. Basically in this particular Niche industry. We were I was blessed to be directly under him.
BP: Well, what were your brother’s doing? Did they go into business with your dad or do they Branch out themselves?
PF: One brother did two others became police officers my youngest brother followed me. He actually when I started the company well, let me back up a little bit in 1978. I came home from a trip in Probably February and my wife said you need to we need to talk. She said you’re on the road 32 weeks a year five days a week. She said we’ve got 4 Kids 3 at around 2 for se says Steven is in school and I have to help him with his homework. I have to discipline him. You come home on the weekends and you’re a gift. You know, you play with them you bring them presents and then you’re off again, and I’ve got to go through the routine and I can’t take it anymore. And you have to make a decision. Do you want to be a daddy and a husband or do you want to be a sales manager? But you sure as hell can’t be both so I thought about it Daddy husband sales manager sex I said Oh, okay. That was easy. So Monday morning, I walked in and quit.
BP: You hadn’t given any thought about what you might do?
PF: No. No, I Just knew I was a cocky little guy. I just knew that I could make a living.
BP: How old were you at the time?
PF: I was 30.
PF: 30 at the time -four kids and one in the oven. And the boss was totally shocked Norm Mason was totally shocked because when I started out as a sales manager to three of us, I had the smallest territory and the and when I walked in and quit I doubled my territory and the others were weak or declining said I was going to make you national sales manager send you to Europe. I said, I really be divorced.
BP: Yeah gone through four months three four weeks at a time.
PF: Yeah. So anyway, yeah, he wanted me to move to Philadelphia and I tell him I left New York, and I’d be for better quality of life. He said well, why don’t you start your company become our reps thought your company in Detroit. I said boy that’s conversation going downhill in a heartbeat boy, so actually, one Friday night that that week Friday night. He walks out of his office. It’s about six o’clock on a Friday night with her alone. And he said come here. He said yeah is that would like to move to Dallas, Texas? I said Norman J. I’m a Yankee. I’m Italian and I’m a Catholic boy and three strikes you’re out and any ball game, especially down south. He said no. He said, I know you’ve been to Birmingham in 1868 but Dallas is nothing like Birmingham. It’s very Cosmopolitan. You need to go Look. he says I’ve got a meeting with a fellow. I’m thinking about giving a line to on Tuesday. Why don’t you fly there this weekend? And if you want it you have it. If you don’t we’ll give it to him. Now. I never been here. He said so why don’t you go look around and then make a decision. So Monday morning I walked in and he said what are you doing here? I said made a decision. He says you’re not taking it. How could Not take it. You’ve never seen it. I said no, I’ll take it. Yeah, how could you take it? You never seen it? I said long as I’m with Eileen and the kids it doesn’t matter. I’ll succeed wherever I am. So I popped on a plane that night to come down to see what this was all about because I didn’t know anybody didn’t know the market. I Nev know Fort Worth was 30 miles away at the time. I mean, I was a naive New York boy that never came to Texas. So we packed up the kids. We sold our house packed up the kids and moved down.
BP: You know you didn’t get too far from DFW did you?
PF: No no, no. No. That was I almost moved to Plano, but I had from San Antonio to the Oklahoma border from Louisiana to the New Mexico border and Bedford was was kind of right in the center. It’s like the hub on a wheel, you know on the spokes were being built, so I could be down in Austin or San Antonio or up in Oklahoma or to the Oklahoma border or out west or out east it was kind of Ideal and so with five kids no one would rent us an apartment, so I wound up buying our five-year home and we’re into 41 years now.
BP: Well sounds like you didn’t get away from traveling too much though. Was Eileen little disappointed?
PF: No, I really to begin with I couldn’t travel a lot. My big area was Dallas-Fort Worth. So not knowing anyone starting from scratch trying to figure out who the players were and whatever I had to spend a lot of time here and then then as I had a little foot hold here. I started to Branch out more into the Austin area. East Texas didn’t have much for us and neither did Lubbock but going down to San Antonio and Austin that did have some work.
BP: Well how much support where you getting from Mason? I mean were you just like basically starting a brand new business here or were they throwing you some…
PF: Well they were they gave me inventory and not giving me that little fronted me inventory and and then they fronted me some money that I could pay back to them and they figured that it was a worthwhile investment, but it was not enough to raise five kids. I had to hustle my tail I’ve caught myself!
BP: I bet I bet that’s so you weren’t you weren’t so to speak a branch of them decent know your company. This was your deal. They were just there to kind of help give you supporting a little little be a backstop a little bit for you to help you out on your feet Yes, you either sink or swim On your own.
PF: That was it in 1981 my brother moved down and I had him go to Mason Industries and work for a year just to train and understand what we were doing and actually learn how to weld and work in a shop and then when he came down to 81 which thought a Fab shop, so we’re not really we’re a hybrid. We’re not a manufacturer’s rep firm. Totally. We’re also a manufacturer and we’re also a distributor because we have quite a Large inventory here.
BP: Now you opened your actually opened your facility in Euless?
PF: No, I actually opened my facility my bedroom in Bedford, you know, I didn’t have a lot of money right and boy the kids found me. I had for under five by this time and boy I asked my wife where did all these kids come from and it’s like giving up drinking smoking and sex all at once. I don’t know I gotta get out of here so I built a pretty handy with with building things because of my dad. So I built an office in the garage that lasts about three weeks. They found me, you know knocking at the door Daddy Daddy come out and play I said, I can’t I have to work. So then in August of 80 I moved into my first place outside the house and that was right across from Texas Star in that Business Park.
BP: Oh, yeah.
PF: And I had 1,300 square feet office warehouse Richard and a part-time secretary and then things started to grow from there. Once we started fabricating and we wound up with the Meyerson and built a lot of product that went there. We moved into 4,500 square feet at the next phase that the realtor Dubose was building so we would first tenent To move into his new place right in front of the match company and then in 90, we bought the island and I bought the building on the other side of Hurricane Creek, which is 10,000 square feet, and we’ve been there ever since and so 4,000 square feet of that is office. 6,000 is Factory and Warehouse.
BP: Well, you see you mentioned that your brother came down and started working for you. What what prompted that to your were you Close?
PF: Yes when he was my younger brother. So when I lived in New York the last 10 years in New York when we were married, I moved to Long Island, so I was not but five blocks from my parents. So as he used to come over on his bicycle, it’s a matter of fact when he was young. I’ll skip that one – but he’d come over on his bicycle. So we were really close. So he kind of we just grew attached. Oh it just happened And it’s worked out.
BF: Well now you’ve got you tell me four Sons? Five?
PF: I have four sons and a daughter.
BP: And a daughter. How many of them are involved in the business?
PF: Well these days there are two. Robert, who oversees all our strategic Partners He’s My Little Beaver Boy, he can build dams like nobody and Stephen who who’s president? He’s the Oldest so I got the youngest and the oldest just like Richie and I’d you understand he old is it I didn’t think about that till just now and that my granddaughter works for us now and Richards son is running the shop and I think that’s enough family.
BP: What I was going to ask. I am working with my daughter and working with family is a challenge at least it is is for me. I love it. I love having her here and but you have that dichotomy. Are you are you dad or you boss or you you know, and it’s very new to me and it’s very very challenging to some degree. Have you found the same over the years?
PF: Oh, absolutely. I used to tell them that I wear Three Hats and they got on they have to understand that I have three hats one is the hat of the boss to is the hat of the dead and three is the hat of the conciergerie. I said now when I’m in the office, I’m And only one of those two hats and I know I’m not really the dad in the office. you working for me other employees. You’re an employee at that point matter of fact, I had another son working for me and at the time he was going through a pretty rough divorce, but it was affecting our business and we had a talk and I says, you know, it’s obvious you’re not happy here and you need to go find what makes you happy. So we parted ways. I mean because the company had to survive that that came first you can’t screw up our best customer and and hope that nothing is going to happen and the truth is nothing will happen. You’ll not get the next order.
BP: Exactly, I truly love what I do for a living and I don’t think that you can be successful in any business even if you love it. You may not be successful.
But if you don’t love it, you can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be successful. Did you have a love for the business that you were in immediately? Did it grow over time? Do you still have that love? I mean have a little bit about that.
PF: Yeah, I pretty much started to love it immediately the first job I’ve worked on with Mason to design. I designed the pump bases and pipe Hangers On the World Trade Center. That was the very first job that I worked on with Mason Industries, and I just loved it from there. I mean I never looked at a clock never in my life. Have them work for my dad. You never look at a clock. And so, you know, I’d walk out of here seven, eight o’clock some nights, but I really enjoyed it and I could tell you today. I still enjoy it. And now what are we 50? 54 years later or something and I’m still having a good time doing what I’m doing. Maybe not that many years.
BP: Well, what what is your role in the company today?
PF: Today, I’m kind of like more of a consultant. Okay, like we have a trouble job now at a school in Fort Worth by say a trouble job. They having vibration issues vibration transmission their units sitting over a conference room and over classrooms, and they’re vibrating to the point where it’s disturbing, annoying the occupants. So on that kind of job they still call me and so my brother Richard go out meet with them. Then we come up with a design to help resolve the issue. They’re doing design work. They come in to me with questions. They have issues with with the shop, with inventory. It was like anything else. Everybody needs a rabbi, you know, so so I’m basically their Rabbi and I watch cash flow. You know that still my, My brother is my partner, but I still have a vested interest in that company.
BP: Sure you do. Absolutely you do. Well you’re talking about the design and stuff. We were talking before we started the podcast that you don’t have a mechanical engineering or mechanical design degree. So to speak.
PF: Well, I I went through Drafting and mechanical design and I did graduate there and then I went on when I got the job with Mason because I was working with the chief engineer. I went back to school for my engineering degree, but then when I started traveling I had to back off that when I got to Texas I had another problem. I enjoyed selling enjoy designing, enjoyed meeting people, but I didn’t enjoy the business, you know the having to worry about paying vendors worrying about cash flow and the truth is I don’t have much experience in that being a sales manager right? So I went back to school and I took two courses like computer. I had to learn how to head a turned it on for cripes sakes. What is the CPU? I wanted to know right? So I took some classes and computer and business and that I went to SMU and took an entrepreneurial class at nights there and that was eye opening, you know, one of the things they they opened my eyes about was the Professor had asked a friend of his that work for FedEx. He said what is the largest item you’ve ever shipped overnight? And he said a Black Hawk helicopter to the desert in Iran when they were going for the hostages years ago with Jimmy Carter was President. He said so what that means is that your competition can have a product in your Market on the street and 48 hours from anywhere in the world and that opened my eyes. And now of course we have the Koreans the competition from India, from Japan a little bit, from Canada ,from the United States of course, and China. And so everybody’s trying to get a little piece of the pie but they don’t have the expertise at this point and the bigger, the more complicated the job the better the better off. We are
BP: and the customer satisfaction.
PF: Yes, one of you yeah, you know, I tell people I said that everybody has problems. But it’s not that and I tell the boys. It’s not that you have a problem. It’s how quickly and efficiently you handle it. You don’t want it to Fester. So if you have no problems, you have no business,
BP: You know, I’ve been a lawyer now for approximately 34 35 years and always I don’t know how I stayed in business quite frankly because I never saw it as a business. I saw it more as a over a lawyer for do you know We’re not in business and that is so not true. I think to a large degree lawyers have had it pretty easy because it was referral-based for a long time. But now with more and more lawyers with proliferation of social media, with the advertising the way it is lawyers are becoming a commodity and that really opened my eyes several years ago because I’m a government major. I didn’t know a thing about business really Phil and I started taking some courses in reading some Business books and it just it opened my eyes about how wow this is. This is a whole new thing. I look at myself now as an entrepreneur who happens to be in the legal business not a lawyer and how did you learn about business? I mean, you obviously got it somehow early on who was responsible for teaching you?
PF: It was the School of Hard Knocks. Yeah. Okay that in the early days of the business I was out there pushing trying to get specifications trying to help Engineers layout jobs, do design work, sell a job design a job ship the product and so I’m looking at fat dumb and happy doing my little thing. My wife who was working with me helping me part time at the time said to me, you know, we need more business. So what do you mean more business? We’re doing good. I’m working at good margins. You don’t understand we need more business There’s more cash going out than coming in and I didn’t appreciate that. At first then I got that hard knock at the door. If you will that says, hey, you’re not going to be here if you don’t pay attention to this side. So that’s when I started to really get into the business end and tried to understand balance sheets and and profit and loss statements and so on and so forth. So it was a it was a learning experience.
And I was able to jump in and do a lot of reading and books and try to figure it out. And that was it and then we were big enough where we can hire an accountant to help with that end of it.
BP: What about the the from the aspect of how to grow the business and how to Target your business and develop a business plan. Did you learn that stuff when you were back with Mr. Mason and those guys are did you just come down here and starve to death and go I got to figure something out?
PF: That’s basically what it was. I mean being a sales manager. I dealt with these reps so I know a little bit about what they were going through but I was never on the business end of their business either. You know, I was calling on Engineers, Architects getting product spec the same kind of thing I did here and it was just your baptism by fire, you know, I was thrown into it. It was just a wake-up call one day and said we’re not going to be here. I knew how to I knew I had to deal with people I knew how to design I knew how to handle product. I know applications I could solve problems but I couldn’t do is accounting. Yeah, so and got no could I appreciate it really until I got here and then it was learn, learn survive, you know.
BP: Well, how long did Eileen spend in the business with you?
PF: She was only part time because we still had all the kids. She would come for a few hours a day until I said, I think it’s time for you to retire. I think that was about 10 years. Maybe less.
BP: Well you were fortunate that you had her, you know, everybody brings something different to the table. And obviously she brought something that woke you up a little bit too. Yeah, they get you to focus.
PF: She yelled a lot.
BP: Well, she’s under a lot of pressure. What’s your what’s your biggest takeaway from the years that you’ve had developing this business?
PF: Wow service, you know. Service Is the big thing but but as you alluded to earlier marketing has become a big thing and that’s the other thing. I’m helping with now, you know redoing the website, trying to figure out ways to get our name, branding right now. I’ve put it together marketing plan using postcards and snail mail and people say why did you go with snail mail? I said because everybody’s using emails now and nobody opens the damn things up at least with a snail mail if I’ve got nice Color and it’s a Punchy card that least look at it and then they can throw it away. I don’t care and I keep sending it to him and sending it to him and sending it to him and after four or five times as anything in that the advertisers will tell you they’ll think well, maybe I need this, you know, maybe I should give him a call. So that’s what I’m doing and I set up a program for like 15 months of different products and then keep repeating that every quarter.
BP: How do you who is your target? Avatar. What I call an avatar now.
PF: We have we have different channels. We have Mechanical Contractors. There are largest. We also have products that we haven’t talked about. We’re into seismic earthquake control to prevent piping and equipment from flying either falling or flying out the building during the Quake. So we have a resilient snubbing systems and cables for that kind of thing. So we get into that in Arkansas. We get into acoustical Where we introduce suspended ceiling spring-loaded ceilings rubber hung spurt ceilings to prevent energy from getting from us outside the room into the room. We have floating floors where we actually float concrete floors on isolators that are tuned to a particular frequency for TV studios. We got some at Meyerson. We’ve got one at Bass and we’ve got over 400 of those around town.
Down and then again acoustical ceilings. So those we sell basically to General Contractors and they are we do the we do the design work. We sell a product and we supervise every once in a while like we work in a couple of jobs where we’re looking at doing the concrete and actually the installation which will work with the subcontractor on got all these different channels. And then I have Architects for the floating Floors in that so I have to deal with them to get the design concept but above them as the acoustical consultant. So we deal very heavily with acoustical Consultants that are located here in town and down in Austin and in some of the other territories there probably are three biggest. Plumbers. We do some with electrical contractors we do some with as a matter of fact, the Meyerson the electrical room is floating on Springs concrete spring floor. There So that was interesting and talk about the Meyerson. Are you remember Archie Bunker the every time they flushed the toilet upstairs. They heard it throughout the house. Well, I get a call from the contractor on a Meyerson that we need to isolate a commode on the second floor right outside the doors to the hall and I’m saying I never isolated the commode. What are you expecting to hear an Archie Bunker? Flush, so so anyway, we figured out how to how to isolate it and on a rubber pad with they wanted a bolt the rubber pad directly to the porcelain I said, you can’t do that. You’ll break it soon as you start tightened down rubber pads going to give right, right. So I said we have to we actually have to cut out a steel plate that matches the bottom of the of the bowl with a hole in it, of course, so the stuff go go down and then We put it on a rubber pad and then you put the commode on top of that and right so we get done with that and I get a call from the plumber. He said you got to be one dumbass. I said, what are you talking about? He’s saying this commode moves. I said, it has to move a little for it to be isolated. Because it has to be resilient has to move there has to be give and take he says well, he says not my business and my business you’re both things down hard. So We need to talk. So we have a meeting with the acoustical consultant the architect, the plumber, the general contractor in the bathroom at the second floor of the Meyerson, right and that taking turns sitting on this commode to see how much it rocks. Finally. The acoustician said that well, that’s the way it has to be, you know, so at the dedication Mayor Strauss was they are so I had the dedication. I’m listening on the radio and all I keep thinking of is Archie Bunker and in the back of my mind. I’m going don’t flush. But it went off without a hitch. Yeah, that’s there was no noise.
BP: That’s funny. Well up how much of your day is spent at the office or office Associated type activities?
PF: Probably don’t go Wednesday’s I try to play golf. There you go, but then I go in in the afternoon I play early. So I probably put in 30 35 hours a week.
BP: You’re these strike me as guy who will never retire.
PF: It seems that way it seems that way you have to have a reason to wake up in the morning. And you have to use your brain because the brain is much like a muscle, you know apathy will sit in if you don’t use it, yeah and not that I have a big one, but I like Using it.
BP: Better than the alternative. That’s that’s a darn sure. Well what does life hold for Phil and Eileen this moving forward. You want to travel do you want?
PF: Well, we cant it we can’t travel much Eileen is is she has issues. She’s handicapped for for the most part but grandkids. We spend we have 14 grandkids and one great-grandson and the little guy lives with us, so I play with him every night and every morning.
BP: How old is he?
PF: He’s three and a half.
BP: Oh, wow.
PF: So we have a great time and he he gives me the incentive to get out of bed in the morning, you know, not only to go to work but to see him and have a good time. So I think it’s mostly going to be family. We’re family oriented. We’ve always been you know, people used to say to me. How do you have five kids? How can you afford it said you changed Lifestyle eat at home. You don’t go out. You don’t go to the movies, you know, you just do what you have to do to survive. So.
we get together for holidays and have a great time. My house is sanctuary. I tell them they’re not fighting in my house. They leave their problems at the door. And then when they go home, they can pick them up as they leaving but.
BP: New York Italians having issues. I can’t believe it. I guess what kind of want to conclude by saying? Where do you see your business? I don’t mean just in the industry, but your business. How do you how do you want? What’s your legacy? How do you want to leave your business? Ultimately if you given that any thought?
PF: Well, I well I want to leave it in good shape. So the kids could take it over. I just want to live a life that people could say that he was humble. He was good at what he does. He was a good father. He was a good grandfather overall. He was a God-fearing fearing man and he lived as a good steward.
BP: Well, I can tell you I’ve had the pleasure to know you now for about four years. I think it is and I think you have all of those attributes and everything you that I know that knows you thinks that you have those attributes, so you’re well on your way. Don’t screw it up!
PF: It’d be my luck the last day off I’ll screw it Up and I’ll be in the oven for all eternity.
BP: Phil, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to come over and visit with me today. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had getting to know you a little bit better and.
PF: I have, I have it’s as you know, I fought this, you know, I really didn’t want to come and.
BP: I had to supply you with good whiskey,
PF: but you know, yeah just like you I love what I do. I enjoy it. It’s been a great life. We’ve been blessed to be here in Texas. It has been a great place to raise the kids, you know kids Steven is an Aggie. I know that’s going to hurt you you get a rash don’t worry about it. Robert is from UTA. He’s a UTA another one. That’s that’s graduate of now. It’s just private boy. I don’t know. I’m getting old DeVry. graduated from Devry and the two others have some college and they’re well on their way and their careers one’s a supervisor with American the others a supervisor UPS. So they’re happy and everything’s going great. We truly truly truly been blessed
BP: Well, you certainly have and they’ve got a great matriarch of the family to run the business successful business for as many years as you have coming down here just cold, never seen sight of anything, bringing your family and all the kids and one in the oven as you said, I mean, it’s just that’s really an exciting time in the challenging time. I’m sure you found it very challenging and trying at times and I’m sure Eileen was very instrumental in keeping everything together for you and
PF: oh absolutely.
BP: and would be the success that you’ve been.
PF: Yeah, she kicked me out every morning. Told me to go out and make money.
BP: absence makes the heart grow fonder.
PF: as long as I’m making money.
BP: Yeah, exactly. But no, I really do appreciate it. Thank you so much. And I told everybody is with at the start of this that you are truly a interesting guy and a great entrepreneur, and I really do appreciate you being here.
PF: Thank you. Bye.
I’m Brad Parker the attorney you want, but hope you never need and thanks for listening to another edition of Bar Talk: The musings of attorneys, entrepreneurs and other interesting people. If you like our show and want to know more check out our website at Parker Law Firm.com, or please leave us a review on iTunes Spotify or your preferred podcast Outlet. See you next time.