The Brass Rail, that was the name of the first bar my grandfather, Big Bad Bill (far left behind bar) ever opened. My dad, Johnnie Jon (middle behind bar) was the sign maker. We had a sign press in the basement of our house. I would help him inking the wooden block letters and watch as he pressed the paper with the rollers. This was quite a process because at one point we had 19 locations, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, news exchange (sold papers, cards, candy, etc). I grew up with my name in lights on buildings. Everyone in town knew at least 1 person from our huge family.
In honor of Father’s Day I wanted to salute my dad and granddad for their entrepreneurial spirit which has given me the drive and focus to start my own business. Big Bad Bill used to say,
“if you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything”
and that has helped me more times than I can count. Waiting until you’re sure about a move is good advice.
I inherited the business spirit from fathers side of the family. What about my courage and logic? I would have to attribute that to my other side… my maternal grandfather, Captain John. He started off in the military then onto detective and police chief. Here he is looking quite dapper in the 1940’s in downtown Akron, OH.
So here’s to you, the giant men in my history. Thanks for all you have done for me!