(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
When I realized that to go up the ladder of corporation success I had to do 2 things I backed off. These 2 things I would not do - no if's, and's, or but's. No way, ever. I would not travel on business on a frequent basis while I had children at home and I would not be a tool ( - "a person who is controlled by others and is used to perform unpleasant or dishonest tasks for someone else," http://wordnet.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn). My wires are connected different I suppose.
Over time, I came to the realization that John Lennon was right when he said,
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
So, I left the corporation life - I just did not want to live the life of "The Organization Man," William Whyte, Doubleday, 1956, http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/whyte-main.html
The values that I grew up with have not blended in with corporate settings on a number of occasions.
A few examples:
In December, 1983 I was a landman for an oil and gas company in Dallas, Cenergy Exploration Company, a company owned by the conglomerate home builder, Centex Corporation. I was their Joint Venture Landman, which meant that I negotiated the trades between Cenergy and other oil and gas companies to pool drilling funds together and share the risk capital to explore and develop geological prospects. I saw what I perceived as a network of tools that originated with the CEO. For instance, the personnel management was a personal friend of the CEO. Prior to that, he was a high school. So, his friend put him on. There was no question by anyone with any sense of observation in the least that this guy was your classic tool. He walked the halls and took mental notes. Then in late November, 1983 he was moved into a position of "Exploration Manager." Well, to those that are unfamiliar with the responsibilities, background education, and years of oil and gas exploration experience that is required for a person to be qualified with sufficient knowledge for this position, let me just say, he did not have it. Period.
So, why would a CEO place someone in this position? Because in order to rape a company without the stockholders getting wind of it, you need your tools, and you need to always have information - always. It is imperative that you know everything. But, interesting, Kenneth Lay, CEO of Enron, says he was duped by his troops here. Well, I suppose it could be the truth, but isn't the commander always responsible for his tools - I mean, troops?
Years past, that was the creed of leadership. Wasn't it?
I suspect that putting together the missing pieces on this drama will make the attorneys involved a lot of money. Too bad their motives seem to appear profit driven. Ever seen an attorney, or a firm carrying the flag of freedom and justice out of principle?
If so, then they should be apply pointed out and held in high esteem - for they have earned it the hard way. Truth and justice is their compensation. I mean, really, if your that educated you should be able to make a living and maintain your integrity as a human being.
Anyway, when I came back from Christmas break. I put in my resignation and walked out that day. My supervisor, the Vice President of the Land operations was stunned while all the while uttering, "But Larry, you have a great future here. You are well thought of upstairs."
I also remember a geologist years ago inquiring why I didn't just release my oil and gas lease negotiators to offer whatever royalty rate and lease consideration it took to put the lease acreage together - fast. In essence, he was questioning my fiduciary responsibility of representing the company as if the funds I was in control of were my own. In his frustration with our leasing activity moving slower than he would have liked on his prospect he said to me, "it's not your money, Larry!"
I had a Dartmouth lawyer tell me virtually the same thing on another incident where we were essentially being taken advantage of by a Texas legislative representative from Henderson County that was using his influence with a committee overseeing some changes being proposed at the time to the oil and gas operations of the Texas Railroad Commission. We had some leases expiring on some acreage that we wanted to drill. The problem for him was he owned no mineral rights. The only way he could benefit from any drilling on his surface acreage was to be compensated in other ways (put the acreage together for others to drill in return for an override or carried interest, or, as in our case, exorbitant surface damages and construction of permanent roads improving access to the inner part of his land). This was clearly unethical for a state representative to use his office for personal gain in this manner. Well, I agreed to some items, he dropped his hold on our permit to drill - then I walked our permit through the approval process - and then notified him we weren't going to build him a cabin for his hunter clientele, a highway through his property, etc.
Well, you can imagine this did not go over well with him. I agreed to pay him the customary surface damages. Our Dartmouth attorney wanted to pay him much more. His rationale - again, "Larry, it's not our money, anyway!"
The best one though was after working for a so-called prominent family-owned oil and gas company in Dallas for 6 years the heir to the throne, who is about my age, called me in to his office to let me go. They were selling their properties off and didn't need my services anymore. But, I suppose he was being generous that day and was going to give me 3 weeks pay. It wasn't the being laid off that hurt. No, not hardly. Rather, it was the realization that I was no more than another journal entry in the books. So, as he's giving me this speech of how bad times are (spring, 1994) and blah... blah... blah.... I'm looking at him in astonishment that he would even entertain the fact that I would believe such nonsense. I mean he was constructing a new $3 million home for himself and his family. And, the more he talked, the more my mind just wandered. I remembered the Rolling Stones tickets that came through the office for himself and his friends to the tune of $5,000. The speech he gave 6 years prior of how he needed someone that could commit at least 5 years to their exploration efforts. And, of course, the interview process that included over 500 other landmen! Man, this guy thinks I'm buying this - "hook, line, and sinker." Well, I just had to have some fun. I wanted to hear him say it, so I asked, "IS that the best you can do?." "Yeah, Larry that's the best I can do." I felt like telling him to "keep the change," but you know, I know when to just take the money and leave. So, I did. But, as long as I live I will never forget what I learned that day. Never. There is still 1 constant for respect, as far as I know this still holds true, "you still achieve it the old-fashioned way - you live it, to earn it. But, you know I knew who I was to him - another "poor bastard" and today when I think of it - a smile appears.
The Enron fiasco is just one glimpse of the greed and corruption of corporate America.
Where are these men and women coming from? I really worry about my children surviving in this jungle of a decaying society. I'm not sure they have the tools to spot the good guy from the bad.
"Traders can be heard manipulating the market, using now-infamous schemes with names like death star, ricochet and fat boy.
One employee is heard asking, "You want to do some fat boys or, or whatever, man, you know, take advantage of it."
In fat boy, Enron traders used fake power sales to hide megawatts, shrinking the supply of energy and driving up prices. They also used the oldest trick in the book: lies.
"It's called lies. It's all how well you can weave these lies together, Shari, alright, so," an employee is heard saying.
The other employee says, "I feel like I'm being corrupted now."
The first employee adds, "No, this is marketing,"
"OK.''" - "More Enron Tapes, More Gloating," CBS News, June 8, 2004, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/08/eveningnews/main621856.shtml
"He just f---s California," says one Enron employee. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
"Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.
"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.
The tapes, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: that in secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down.
"If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?" an Enron worker is heard saying.
"Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way," another says.
"Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down."
Officials with the Snohomish Public Utility District near Seattle received the tapes from the Justice Department.
"This is the evidence we've all been waiting for. This proves they manipulated the market," said Eric Christensen, a spokesman for the utility.
That utility, like many others, is trying to get its money back from Enron.
"They're f------g taking all the money back from you guys?" complains an Enron employee on the tapes. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"
"Yeah, grandma Millie, man"
"Yeah, now she wants her f------g money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her a------ for f------g $250 a megawatt hour."
And the tapes appear to link top Enron officials Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling to schemes that fueled the crisis.
"Government Affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling," says one trader.
"Do you know when you started over-scheduling load and making buckets of money on that?
Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win.
"It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy," says one Enron worker.
That didn't happen, but they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices.
"When this election comes Bush will f------g whack this s--t, man. He won't play this price-cap b------t."
Crude, but true.
"We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse and that's why I oppose price caps," said Mr. Bush on May 29, 2001.
Both the Justice Department and Enron tried to prevent the release of these tapes.
Enron's lawyers argued they merely prove "that people at Enron sometimes talked like Barnacle Bill the Sailor."
OK, so screwing your grandmother is not illegal - but, it certainly is indicative of a lot of today's young male.
Go here for more information on the Enron story http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/01/eveningnews/main620626.shtml
Are you comfortable in having just anyone with the power to switch your electricity off for no other reason than to screw a grandmother in California?
Do you think that their middle managers on up even have a clue how to accomplish this from a purely technological standpoint? Do you think Ken Lay, the CEO has the ability to do this? Do you think these kids receive commission on the sale of overpriced electricity?
Do you ever wonder why someone would even consider putting the screws to a poor grandmother anywhere on this planet?
If your a grandmother - how do you like the new-age grandsons of yours?
Do you ever wonder what other empowerment we have turned over because many of us don't understand this new world order? Maybe, you might be enlightened by reading the Hacker's Manifesto here (http://www.larryblakeley.com/security_computer_network/hacker_manifesto.htm).
Notice the date of this?
Just not a place that I wanted to be. So, I probably make much less money because of this aversion to compromising what I feel is "me" and what I'm about. Being adamant about having more time with my children has limited, too. But, I wouldn't change a thing. My relationship with my children is built on solid ground. And, what I missed was not missed on the second go-around. No way. Not me.
There will be an ultimate price to be paid with equating wealth and power to be the ultimate goal of achieving the "American dream." And, upon achieving it, are quite possibly still left with "something that is just missing." They don't know what it is. And, their families are becoming fragmented with disillusion and unhappiness, as well because of this. A tragedy going on in America today and sadly, may continue to go on.