Be Mine, Jimmy Buffett, & Jerry Lewis
Home PageAbout UsThe Haunted HouseMy 1936 ChevyEhrlich HistoryL.J. EhrlichMerlin's MemoriesDr. Natalie EhrlichKanell EhrlichT. Lynn EhrlichMaurice EhrlichMark EhrlichMauri EhrlichA. E. EhrlichGene EhrlichKimberly EhrlichMitchell EhrlichDana EhrlichKatherine Ehrlich1750 Ehrlich ChartEhrlich HistoryMinnie's MemoriesEzra EhrlichJoanna EhrlichVicki GillespieGayle GillespieDebra GillespiePatrick GillespieBernice EhrlichDr. Amy AndersonValerie AndersonLon AndersonLee AndersonL.J. EhrlichDr. Tracy EhrlichDr. Lisa EhrlichRobert EhrlichBeautiful ChildrenWeddingsHomesteadsMilitary PhotosCrossover MinistriesHerman LaubhanMilton's ChiliRandy LaubhanThurman LaubhanT.R. LaubhanMerlin LaubhanReggie LaubhanBrock LaubhanBrett LaubhanOuida LaubhanPaula HoeppnerElizabeth WunderTad HoeppnerC. Ann HoeppnerZetta LaubhanShirley LaubhanHilda EhrlichJohn LawTerry LawAlvin LawJohnny H. EhrlichCarl EhrlichHarold C. EhrlichJunior C. EhrlichMyra J. EhrlichRobert B. EhrlichTheresa M. EhrlichMyrna L. EhrlichJohn D. EhrlichGeorge E. EhrlichWeb Site Stats1749 Laubhan ChartAlta Faye MemoriesTimothy EhrlichThomas C. EhrlichLeslie J. EhrlichDouglas EhrlichMyra J. EhrlichFlorene EhrlichLyman S. EhrlichAdd & Correct DataJona H. LaubhanAlvin LaubhanDelilah LaubhanVerda C. LaubhanRichard L. LaubhanCarl LaubhanEva Lee LaubhanEva Lee's MemoriesRodney LaubhanAlex G. LaubhanAbout ScherbakovaDorothy's MemoirsMaurice RemembersThe 1st TV in FollettEhrlich JournalLaubhan JournalLyman's SojournGrandma WalkerSong Gott ist LiebeTillie M. EhrlichL.J.'s Cheese RecipeEhrlich BrothersAsaph & EzraEhrlich's Start OverThe Double SixBrevity Eludes MeDr. Ehrlich JournalCollege & More

The Roaring Twenties.......  

by Maurice Ehrlich

The sixties are sometimes compared to the "roaring twenties".  I think I understand why, however my immediate family went through the sixties oblivious to how CREATIVE it was.  I cannot think of a word that describes it better, because society was changing, and there were creative people changing it.  It was the best of times for most, it was the worst of times for many.
We were fortunate enough to be part of the majority......we hardly noticed that some were paying the ultimate price....we were too busy to notice, and not engaged enough to care.
We had sold our successful Family Mart Store, and had taken a job completely away from the rigors of the farm.....away from the seven days a week job on the farm and store.....We were going into the clothing business full speed ahead.  I had taken a job as a Willie Loman type traveling salesman.  I had been given a territory that had few customers, and long distances apart....West Texas....No salesman who owned Texas for his sales territory spent much time in that part unless it was a little time in Lubbock and Amarillo.  I knew it, but pretended I didn't, and attacked it with vigor. 
We moved to San Angelo, a quiet middle sized town in the middle of the territory.  I took a Texaco map, and a D.& B book, and started traveling.  Not too much business the first season, but there were customers who would buy later if I didn't give up on them....To make a shorter version of this story, I ended up with a rather inventive plan to sell more goods....The biggest problem in selling was being unable to bring the merchandise into the store, display it, pack it up, and go to the next town without taking too much time.  I ended up ordering an Airstream trailer devoid of furniture, and turned it into a showroom, which I pulled behind a DeVille Cadillac.....that worked!  Sales went up tenfold.....enough to get the companies attention.....whereupon they offered me the Sales Managers job in Atlanta.
The year was 1969, and I never knew much about anything  happening in the world...Students were protesting the Vietnam War: I think I knew it, but living in San Angelo was a long way from that experience.
So, Atlanta....Wow, Whew!.....Oh my!.....We bought a big house in a good neighborhood...the neighbors were Coca Cola executives, C. & S. Bankers, Georgia Life Insurance professionals.....we were the odd man out.  Now a peculiar thing happened....because my job was a seasonal one.....April/May and Oct/Nov....we were seen quite a bit at the local Swim and Racket club.....We later learned that our neighbors had even suspected we were Mafia types or something....(we found that out later).
One of our good friends with Southern Railroad had his own private car....and we joined he and his wife on occasion for a very well prepared meal in the dining car.   But events were developing in the clothing business that few were cognizant of, especially me.   More and more manufacturers were moving their operations overseas to be competitive....Not my company....they did the opposite, they expanded their business from independent retailer to include high end stores, and chains.....a disaster in the making.  Walmart was still just another customer...I went often to their buying office, and several times had conversations about the business with Sam Walton himself, (nobody believed they would become anything other than just another regional chain) ....
So, after the first year, our young management team asked me to join their newly created chain group.....This was to separate the regional chains from the independent stores, and I was to play the part of "merchandiser".....that is what you might call "the decider" to what items to sew.    The product needed a new name...I came up with BE MINE, and it stuck...
Still there was the entire Summer with not much a person could do....No product to sell, as it was all "sold up"....and being produced and shipped......that meant the age old adage about the idle mind being the devil's workshop was about to be tested.  Bobbie and I happened to see a full page ad in The Wall Street read: If you can push a button, you can own a Jerry Lewis Cinema....Well, who couldn't do that?  The article went on to describe the newest idea in movie theaters....the mini theater with automated equipment....and opportunity for novices!   I went to N.Y. to investigate.   I went with the intention of perhaps buying a single franchise.....they talked me into purchasing the franchise rights for all of North Georgia.   I had the time, knew how to sell, and could easily sell some of these theaters, and collect a handsome commission.  And I did.  But while I was being sold the Georgia franchise, the door was left open and a listener turned out to be Ted Lorenz, who followed me out of the building.  He was a talent broker.  He said that once he heard I was from Atlanta, he knew he had something that might interest me.  He said Atlanta was in dire need of a forum for entertainment such as the Troubador in Los Angeles or The Cellar Door in Washington D.C.....I thought about that for awhile, and remembered my friend from Atlanta who had recently moved to N.Y. with Carrier Air, had told me he wanted to stay in Atlanta and get into show business.....I walked right over to Rockefeller Center and my friend Bob Dulong's office, and told him about that idea....that was all it took. He met with Ted, and that deal was going to happen, either with me, or without me, preferably with, as it turns out.
Bob quit his job, came to Atlanta while we were away from home in Texas....broke into our house, and started drawing plans for this new venture.  Hard to believe even now!  But, when we returned, we contacted a few investors, picked a site, and created The Great Southeast Music Hall Emporium and Performing Arts Exchange, Inc....We were still installing seats the night Jonathan Edwards arrived to do his sound check for that evening's first performance.....It was a roaring success...and the place was born.   Ted Lorenz was booking the talent, and we had a soundstage to display it, and the local newspapers were very kind with their attention and exposure.
The third week's talent featured Johnny Nash....not too many people know his name, but they do know his famous song which was being played everywhere...."I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, gone are the clouds  that had me blind".....I heard recently it is the most widely used song for advertising products of any song in America.  Unfortunately for us....the fourth day, he was a no show....He had opted out to perform for LBJ's birthday party in Austin.....we had a sub, I don't know who.  The stage was frequented by a lot of entertainers....the list over the next five years was just about everybody who was singing or performing.....Women such as Melissa Manchester and Linda Ronstadt,  Rockers such as Lynard Skynard,  Comedians such as Lilie Tomlin, Martin Mull, Cheech and Chong, and Steve Martin, Country singers such as Dolly Partin and Willie Nelson, and balladeers such as Harry Chapin, and if you really needed someone to come...get Jimmie Buffet.....He must have played that hall at least a dozen times....he always remarked The Music Hall gave him his start...
We brought back Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe over and over, and still they sold out.  Thirty years later, in Phoenix, Bobbie's doctor mentioned he was from Kentucky....I said to him, "the only person I ever met from Kentucky was Bill Monroe".....He asked where I had met him...when I responded, his eyes lit up, and he said, "I still have The Music Hall Budweiser Bucket I bought filled with beer" ......He went to Emory University Medical School, and proceed to tell me how reasonable the entertainment was......I had always suspected we were too cheap, because we never did make any money...
But, to get back to the Jerry Lewis story, that too was a bit ill-fated....the big debate that was raging was whether the movie industry would survive, as TV was taking away a big percentage of the revenue.....and the movie producers were not making new product. That was the death knell for the new theater chain.  We had ten theaters open in Atlanta within the first year, and did not have any good movies to show....We showed "Billie Jack" and "Lawrence of Arabia"  over and over in new theaters just to have some decent movies....Hard to believe today with all the product available today....Those theaters eventually were bought up by national chains, as product became available again.  But without me....
One event that did capture everyone's attention: Nixon resigned, Jerry Ford took over....and in 1976, on one November evening, I was returning late from a sales trip, I got off the plane, and the sky caps were buzzing.....Jimmy Carter had been elected President, and there was a celebration occurring at The World Congress Center!.....I drove by, then looked at all the security, and opted to pass, and went by the Music Hall which was featuring "The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band". 
Plenty of events....all jammed together.....that was the 60's and 70's....The middle of the 70's, there was a deep recession, and I needed a job.  Perhaps, just perhaps, I could get a clothing company started in spite of the recession, and in spite of the pitfalls that I could not see.  I still knew a lot of buyers all over America, and just maybe that merchandising experience would pay off.  It was with this information at hand, I was able to persuade a group of investors to fund a new clothing company BE&H Playwear.
A prior business acquaintance just happened to know a group of men who had formed a partnership to build a dog track in Alabama.....The contract instead was awarded to Bear Bryant's son, so this group had money ready to go.   They were an interesting group....a banker, a Buick dealer, a multiple pizza parlor owner, a doctor, and the announcer for The Crimson Tide....
The year 1978, and we begin.  Very successful first year....then interest rates begin their 20%.....Wm. Volker was the Fed Chief; he raised the rates, and as he did, business' were dying, especially new ones like ours. We were cash intensive, and with millions borrowed, the interest was punishing at the least....The group decided they had enough of that, and would take their loss and go home.....It turned out, it was a very small loss....but the die was cast.
I decided I could continue on alone, and did, purchasing the shell of BE&H that remained, and along with Bobbie Ann, Mark and Mary Ann, and a couple of employees started over in Dallas.....forming Ehrlich Corporation.  That corporation along with the manufacturing arm which we created and called Ehrlich Manufacturing Inc. were fairly successful until the Oil depression killed the Texas banks in 1985....We finally wound up with Barclays, a British bank based in Charlotte N.C.....
However, we were beginning to realize that Walmart was literally forcing the regional players such as T.G.&Y,  Anthonys, Roses, Weiners into bankruptcy....and of course the overseas producers had the price points that local makers could not duplicate.   Our best customer was the U.S, government....they bought 25% of our product every season, and that was the basis for us to get the manufacturing process started each season.....It was called AAFES....The Army Air Force Exchange Service that supplied the PX's all over the world.....and they loved our stuff.   An interesting situation season J.C. Penney, who usually bought something from us had sampled what we called our Holstein Cow group for toddlers.....but the order never came.  That Fall, while shopping their stores, we saw it: our Holstein cow group.  They had sent the samples overseas and knocked it off.....Which begs the question...what company could make it in this kind of a cut throat world?   We eventually sold our company for not much money, but at least it was not a complete loss.
I have fast forwarded here through the eighties.....the rural banks were going bankrupt, along with the oil patch, and in Dallas, there were miles of new skeletal framed condos....some being razed and burned...The oil companies were shutting down..
We had started a journey  a decade earlier unaware that somewhere, some place there will be a cute clothing line for kids named Be Mine; there will be a new phenomenon entertainer named Jimmy Buffet, and also a famous actor-comedian hosting the Labor Day Multiple Sclerosis celebration named Jerry Lewis.
Next...the 90's.....Condos, Convenience Stores, Cafes, Cattle and Corn.   

Home Page | About Us | Contact Us | Services | Ehrlich's From Russia | L.J. Ehrlich  | Merlin Laubhan  | Natalie Ehrlich Family | Kanell & Dean Mings Family | T. Lynn & Tom Hart Family | Maurice Ehrlich Family | Mark Lee Ehrlich Family | Mauri & Steve Chase Family | Asaph Edward Ehrlich Family | Gene Ehrlich Family | Kimberly D. Ehrlich Family | Mitchell Gene Ehrlich Family | Dana Asaph Ehrlich Family | Katherine and Dennis Smith Family | Ehrlich Ancestors | Ehrlich & Laubhan History | Some Laubhan Information | Ezra Ehrlich Family | Joanna and Ike Gillespie Family | Vicki Jane Gillespie | Gayle and David Maloney | Debra and John Fink | Patrick and Jackie Gillespie | Bernice and Robert Francis Anderson | Dr. Amy and Lee James Silverthorn | Valerie and Kenneth Shelley | Lon and Chris Anderson | Lee and Katherine Anderson | L.J. and Kay Roach Ehrlich Family | Dr. Robert Tracy and Marilyn Miner Ehrlich Family | Dr. Lisa and Ted Malone Family | Robert Lewis and Melanie Ehrlich Family | Beautiful Children | Weddings | Homesteads | U.S. Military Photos | Crossover Ministries | Herman Laubhan Family | Milton Laubhan Family | Randy Laubhan | Thurman Gex Laubhan | Theodore and Theresa Laubhan | Merlin Laubhan Family | Reginald Steward Laubhan | Brock Stewart Laubhan Family | Brett Lee Laubhan Family | Ouida Laubhan and Harvey Hoeppner Family | Paula Hoeppner Family | Rama Hoeppner & Joe Lynn Hagee | Harvey Ted Hoeppner | Christine Ann Hoeppner | Zetta Van Meter | Shirley & Russell Siner | Hilda and Jack Law Family | John and Kathleen Law Family | Terrance and Janet Law Family | Alvin and Sandee Law | Jona and Viola Ehrlich Family | Carl and Martha Ehrlich Family | Harold and Irene Ehrlich | Junior and Mary Ehrlich | Myra and Michael Howard Family | Robert Bob and Dolores Ehrlich | Theresa Marlene and David Allen Family | Myrna Loretta and Harold Kew Family | John Daniel Ehrlich | George Edward and Vivian Ehrlich Family | Statistics | Laubhan Outline | Alta Faye Rememberings | Timothy & Virginia Ehrlich | Thomas Carl and Ruth Ehrlich Family | Leslie James Ehrlich | Douglas and Michelle Ehrlich | Myra Joan and Micahel Jeffrey | Chuck and Florene Hemmings | Lyman and Marlene Ehrlich Family | Additions and Corrections | Jona and Martha Laubhan Family | Alvin and Mary Laubhan | Delilah and Floyd Wilhelm | Verda and Robert Harper Family | Richard and Donna Laubhan Family | Carl and Leah Laubhan Family | Eva Lee and Kenneth Voth Family | Eva Lee's Memories | Rodney and Lois Laubhan Family | Alexander George & Louisa Laubhan | About Scherbakova | Dorothy's Memoirs | Memoirs Of Maurice | 1st T.V. in Follett | The Ehrlich Journal | The Laubhan Journal | Lyman Ehrlich Family Sojourn | Grandma Walker | Gott ist die Liebe | Tillie Malusha Ehrlich | L.J.'s Cheese Recipe | Ehrlich Brothers 1925-1938 | Asaph & Ezra Ehrlich | Asaph & Ezra Starting Over | Asaph and The Double Six | Brevity Eludes Me | Dr. Natalie Ehrlich Ethiopian Journal | College, Children, Chickens, Combines, & Clothes

Starfield Technologies, Inc.