October 21, 2013
I wonder if they’d miss me?
I’m on my way – somewhere over Arizona right now, in a 767 heading eastbound – to convene The Master’s Program groups in Charleston and Charlotte (our two current outposts for TMP in the Carolinas). My Charlotte contingent will assemble on Wednesday – all day – at the Charlotte Country Club. How far is that from the North Carolina Museum of Art? Could I duck out of my own event?
I don’t normally find myself plotting a visit to a museum – let alone an art museum – but their special exhibit – now, ‘til January 20th – is worth the exception. “Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed” is the banner outside the complex.
Twenty-two Porsches – from the 1938 Type 64 to the 2010 Type 911 Sport Classic Carrera – on display (with, I’m sure, the “Do Not Touch” signs appropriately placed). My flight back to SoCal isn’t until 5:25p; my group adjourns about 3:30p… what are the chances I could make my flight?
Why is a guy who drives an old-guys’ Toyota Avalon even imagining the Porsche pilgrimage? It’s all about high school…
My first car was the parent-approved ’63 Plymouth Belvedere – with the 426 Hemi engine and the push-button automatic tranny – that didn’t draw attention, but sucked premium gas like I drink Starbucks coffee. My money; dad’s approval. That lasted about six months…
Based on my appeals for a more frugal operating cost, I negotiated permission to buy an imported car with four cylinders and a manual transmission. Never bargain from ignorance: my dad didn’t understand in ‘69 that a ’59 Porsche 356B Coupe was not an “economy car…”
Again: my money ($1600), dad’s sign-off… and the Porsche became my field office. When Cheri and I were married, I sold it for $1300 and bought the new Chevy…
If only I had held on to that simple, yellow, inverted bathtub. Now worth at least 25x what I accepted for it in ’71, it would have been a smooth financial play. But, even more: it would have had a place at the North Carolina Museum of Art (virtually) as a head-turner in ’13.
I think about that sometimes when I consider value decisions that I make today, and what I’d give someday to reverse them, if I had the chance for a do-over.
That’s why I drive that Toyota. I went back and forth a few times over the options. I could have made the case for a spiffier ride; the folks who see me around town wouldn’t have blinked if I had ratcheted-up my brand choice a few notches. But, I had to consider the options…
It’s always about the options. The Law of Limited Resources says that the decision to buy one thing means that you won’t be able to procure something else. Choices do matter; you reach a point where you hit the bottom of your bucks barrel and have to say, “No.”
When I was a teen, my car was the most important thing in which I could invest my limited funds. I’ve grown up a bit since then; my values have shifted gears considerably.
The Porsche gallery would be worth a visit; a stroll down Memory Lane would be an hour’s diversion, but I’ve traveled down the road of life – and wisdom – a ways since then. Today, the thing that catches my eye is people.
Every time I make a decision about the expenditure of hard-earned capital, I have to make a value call: what’s really most important, to me? It’s people; not just now, but for 1000 years from now. The great advice from Jesus haunts me: “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it (the money) is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings (heaven).” (Luke 16:9)
In ’69, I put my money on Porsche; in ’13, I’m putting it on People. I think I’m making better deals now. The 25x possibility was great; the 100x guarantee is even greater…