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We're gonna hafta build.
Last edited 10 Jul 2004; and, since 18 Jun 2002, this is visit .

This page will cover my adventures in the construction racket (my second attempt to go straight from the practice of law): working for other builders; speculative home-building (with partner, Sam Geisenberger) as Mayfair Homes in Covington Woods, Covington West, and Mission Bend, all in Fort Bend and/or Harris County, Texas; and, how those endeavors led me to the tropics. (31 Oct 2000) Being in a spooky mood for this first Halloween of this millennium, I had better tell you how this page got it's name: from a routine performed by Groucho and Chico.

It was a memorable event in one of their early films (either Duck Soup, Animal Crackers, or Coconuts - all three of which also starred Harpo and Zeppo). If you don't know who Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo were, you awoke too late. (01 Nov 2000) With fear and trepidation, I'll take a crack at butchering the routine. Grouch and Chico are discussing how to catch the jewel thieves. Chico suggests that they go to everyone in the house and ask, "Did you steal the jewels?" Groucho cleverly wants to knows what they should do if everyone in the house says "No". Chico puzzles a while, then says, "Well, we can go to the house next door." Groucho, fast falling into Chico's trap, glowers at him and asks, "What if there is no house next door?" Chico studies the enigma for a little while and then, with a sage expression on his face, says, "Well, in that case, we're gonna hafta build."

Number 2 escape from law in 1967: (18 Jun 2002) There I was  with a cubbyhole office in the Tennessee Building (later, the Bank of Southwest Building and then something else) in downtown Houston and with no clients - so, of course, there was nothing to do but to spend most of my time at 807 West Alabama, the location of The Little Hut beer drinking establishment, and at The Bridge Club (later, an Orange Julius stand and then something else) across the street. Then, in 1967, Jack R. Bryan, who bragged about building ticky-tacky houses as Catalina Homes. there will be more about that just below here. The ticky-tacky thing reminded me to play here, as background music, Jack's favorite ditty - Little Boxes. I hope that Jodey Bateman doesn't mind my pinching his version of that ditty - at least I'm giving him a fine plug and (God knows) I'm not getting any monetary reward for ANY of my transgressions.

Working for and with others, 1967-1974:

Only one namedrop (a biggie) on this page: (11 Apr 2003) During the time I was working for Jack Bryan at Catalina Homes, his accountant was a lad named Howard H. Gano. Howard was a very memorable fellow, the first reason to remember him being that he was six feet and five inches or so tall. I was even more impressed by his ability to quickly add, in his head, a long column of numbers while listening to a football game coming in on the radio plugged in his ear. I have many other reasons to remember him well: he became my accountant at Mayfair Homes; he often played bridge at the Bridge Studio of Houston (reference the "Bridge" page further back in this saga); he was also an attorney and we posed esoteric legal questions to each other from time to time; when I returned from the tropics (reference the "Bestbird" pages appearing next in this saga), he prepared eight years of personal income tax returns for me to account with the IRS for those missing pages in its record of my financial doings; and, we became close friends and, sometimes, co-conspirators even. The namedrop: (? Apr 2003)

An aside re a dog, a cat, and home cooking:

The good and bad of entrepreneurship, 1974-1979:

Luck (a lady?) finds me the tropics: (27 Jan 2000) In late 1976, both Susan and I needed a break from the homebuilding and homemaking routine, and we mustered up the wherewithal to wind up in Cozumel for a few days beginning December 26, 1976. Of course we enjoyed the sea, sun, and ambience there very much and hoped to return; and, as luck would have it in the next December, I had a poker game windfall and we wanted to do another Boxing Day (December 26 in Britain, its colonies, and its protectorates) trip to Cozumel. But, alas, there was no way to get a hotel reservation there so late. I related the problem to my buddy and partner Sam and, as I was leaving the office, I chanced to hear his call, "Try Belize." Upon such nails, kingdoms are lost or won, and the tale that resulted from and hangs thereby will be related in the (next) Bestbird Page.

Escaping to the tropics: (28 Jan 2000) Well, after visiting to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Boxing Day plus of 1977, falling in love with San Pedro, visiting there again on Boxing Day plus of 1978, and suffering a change of fortune with Mayfair Homes in late 1978 and early 1979, Susan (being just a little like Pollyanna) and I (with my native apprehension overcome by my spirit of adventure and survival instinct) decided to shutdown Mayfair Homes, move to San Pedro, and live happily on the seashore.

The shutdown in 1979, and 1/5 of the move in 1980:

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