From October 12, 1969 to July 28, 1979, I lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and, with the exception, maybe, of a total of 3-4 months it was one of the best decades of my life with many, many things, good and bad, mostly good over that period of time. It certainly was my best decade financially, and materially, being the only time I made money faster than I could spend it but I sure as heck tried.
Bernie had rented me a one bedroom apartment at the Hamlet Apartments on Poplar Pike Extended (Hey, Chuck, are they still there?) which was on the other side of the train tracks where he lived with his ex and their daughters in Chatham Village and where I would move a year later. Bernie didn't like the fact that he couldn't just walk in whenever he wanted, not to forget the couple of times he walked in to my apartment to find me having sex with one or two others!
There really is so much to tell about those years but I want to talk about the important things that, in reality, changed my life. When I got to Memphis for the first 2 years I basically worked 24/7 doing classes, looking for and opening new locations, driving from Memphis to Jonesboro, Arkansas one day and then to Jackson, Tennessee, on another day where I would hold an afternoon and an evening class. I did classes in Whitehaven--yes a few blocks from Elvis's home, Graceland--Millington, the Navy base, where if I have time, I'll tell you a funny story in a future post--Germantown, Collierville, here, there and every where! I loved it!
I'm going to make a total of 5-6 posts regarding the years from 1969-1974 and then 2 posts about 1974-1979 and hopefully cover all I want to without rambling too much!
I became a big fish in a small pond doing TV, radio and newspaper interviews, being invited by other franchise owners to do classes with their lecturers. I still have many of the plaques and letters I got from the franchise owners for helping them out. Bernie and I agreed he would do the business for the company ad I would be the 'front' and we were a great team. Eventually we would open in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I would either drive there on Sunday, do a couple of classes and come back on Tuesday. I did love the drive back and forth but occasionally fly in on Monday and leave early Tuesday.
Joe Cassius, Reade House, Peabody Hotel, gay life in Memphis, Chattanooga, rest areas, 1 regret, traveling, Sunny and daughters leaving, Johnny, Our Weigh, 10th Leap Year, 'gay, Jewish, yankee', behind closed doors, Goldsmith's, House of Pancakes on Perkins, UP Tower revolving restaurant, court, lawyers, 'divorce', smartest decision in my life, 1 regret in my life, the Memphis 'girls', Jan Gardner,open house holiday parties, open house with red light, so much to cover but then as far as I can tell there is infinite space on the Internet!!!
Just as I give full credit to Jean Nidetch for my physical change I give Joseph Cassius complete credit for my mental, emotional and outlook on life changes. I googled him http://cassiusandassociates.co
m/ and was sad to learn that Joe had died though his son had taken over the business.
I had been at a WW franchise meeting and was talking to Jan Aufseher, a franchise owner, when she started talking about Transactional Analysis and Eric Berne's "Game People Play". I was interested in all of it for 2 reasons: 1) I knew I needed therapy for my lying, my anger and my negative attitude and 2) I thought it would be great to use in our classes. I made an appointment to see Joe as soon as I got back.