October 20-24, 1993: A Trip to Big Bend and Leakey, Texas
Return to the Index for 1993

November 25 - December 31, 1993
The Holidays in Dallas and North Carolina


On this page, I'd like to include the various pictures taken on Thanksgiving, over Christmas and at New Year's. If there hadn't been a trip involved, I'd probably have put them in the "Miscellaneous" section, but as I went home to North Carolina for Christmas, this page seems more appropriate.


Thanksgiving in Dallas

I did my normal thing at Thanksgiving, which is to cook a big dinner. I spent most of the day at home by myself, but Greg came over in mid-afternoon, Fred arrived from being with his family in Fort Worth a bit later, and Ron came over about dinnertime. The four of us feasted on the turkey and trimmings, and then we played some cards. We set up Fred's tripod and took a couple of pictures:

Greg, Ron Mathis, myself and Fred

Just before sitting down to eat we took this group shot.

Fred, Greg, Ron Mathis and myself

We always take a second shot in case the first one doesnt turn out.


Christmas in North Carolina

In December, I planned a trip to Florida and then on to North Carolina for Christmas. I drove down to Florida about a week and a half before Christmas and spent four or five days there with Ty and Scott. The condo was in excellent shape, and Ty and Scott had left me some new bedroom furniture as a result of their having lived there for two months while they found a new apartment to move into. About a week before Christmas, I drove north to Charlotte. The little Honda has certainly gotten a workout in the last year or so. I had fun at home, and I did take some pictures, but when I went over to Winston-Salem to see my old friend Flip Filipowski, I changed film outside by my car, and somehow the used roll was lost. There were some pictures from Thanksgiving, some cat photos, some pictures of Ty and Scott, and the Christmas pictures from Judy's farm. I have looked everywhere for them, but can't find them anywhere, and I suppose they are gone for good.

However, I do have the photos I took after I changed film, so we will pick up with those.

Here are Flip Filipowski and his daughter Jenny Filipowski at their homes outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. When I reconnected with Flip, I found that he and his wife, Janet, had apparently divorced. Flip had continued to be very, very successful in computer software, and now his daughter, Jenny, was joining him in that business.

I had found out that Flip was now in North Carolina (actually, he was splitting his time between North Carolina and Chicago) from my friend Greg. Greg has been working at Boston Chicken this Fall, in charge of a portion of their IT operation, and he told me that Flip, whom we had both known during our Cullinane days, was one of Boston Chicken's major franchisees. He has apparently used some of his great wealth, which he accumulated first at Cullinane and then by starting and going public with three software companies, to buy some 100 franchises for this new fast food chain in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and, as it turns out, Hawaii.

Flip is one of those people who work very hard and are lucky to boot, and everything he touches seems to turn to gold. Greg estimates that he is worth somewhere around $200 million or so. Anyway, he is quite the wealthiest person that I know myself. When I first met Flip, he was living on the north side of Chicago in his mother's brownstone, and he had just been married to his wife Janet for a couple of years. They had already had a daughter, Jenny, but she was just three or four years old when I first met them in 1978.

I actually worked for Flip very briefly when he started DBMS, Inc. after leaving Cullinane Corp. I then went to work for Sarson and Gane, but I might have done much, much better if I had stayed with Flip. He seemed to like me, and respect the work that I did in the education field. Anyway, that is one of those "what if" daydreams. Anyway, Flip and Janet are now divorced (the details of which are still quite unclear to me, as I always thought that Janet was a great person), and Flip has remarried a woman from North Carolina.

I can recall spending quite a few pleasant afternoons and evenings at Flip and Janet's lovely home in suburban Chicago, playing with Jenny and Flip Jr. I would never have suspected that the two of them would ever split up, but they have. Jenny seems to think that it is mostly her mom's fault, but I have no way of knowing. Jenny seems to be closer to her father, while her brother, Flip, is still living with Janet in Chicago. There is a lot of family politics going on. Anyway, Jenny is out of college now, and is helping her father get his franchises started, and she is doing quite well at it, apparently. She is very bright, so I am not surprised.

Flip and Jenny live in neighboring houses, and here is Flip on the front porch of the house in Winston-Salem that he lives in with his new wife. I think it was Flip's involvement with her after Janet that prompted him to move down to North Carolina, and he has done so in a big way.

Soon after he bought the house he is in now, he formed a company with one of his old DBMS friends, and now they are building more homes in this same area. As a matter of fact, I think they built the one that Jenny is in. The houses are quite nice, although not as large as one might assume for such wealth.

You can see that the house is decorated very nicely for the holidays. The inside looked as if a professional decorator were called in to make it over for Christmas, but then Flip has always been very concerned about appearances. Perhaps that is part of why he is so successful. As you can see here, Flip is also on the heavy side, but then he always has been.

Jenny does a lot of traveling back and forth to Chicago, where Flip still has his corporate headquarters at Platinum Systems, Inc., the third of his companies. I am amazed that the little girl that I enjoyed playing with such a short time ago has grown into the young woman that she is. Jenny seems very level-headed and just as driven as her father is. That is probably why she is here with her father. I wonder what Flip Jr. is like; perhaps he is not so ambitious. One of these days I will have to meet him again. He was only three the last time that I saw him, and is still in college, I believe.

Here are two more pictures that I took outside Flip and Jenny's houses:

Here is Jenny Filipowski on the front porch of her own house one house down from the one her father occupies.

And here again are Flip and Jenny on their beautiful street in south Winston-Salem.

I actually thought that all Flip might want to do is chat with me a bit outside, but he invited me in to his own home to meet his newest child. I did not get to meet his wife; she was away for a day or two, as I recall.

Here are Flip Filipowski and his new daughter at their home in Winston-Salem. Flip is very unconventional, and that, too, is probably part of the secret of his success. Most men his age (he is about 45, I think), having already raised one family, wouldn't be considering starting another, but that is not the way Flip is. It is probably not completely true, but perhaps the security of the wealth that he has is what allows him to do exactly what he feels like without worrying. He knows he will be able to support a new family with no difficulty at all, and maybe this gives the freedom to start again. Or perhaps there are other reasons, but in any event he seemed very, very happy to be raising another little girl.

I must confess that I should have written down all that Flip told me about his new family while I was visiting, or just after I left, for now, six months later, I have forgotten his wife's name or the name of his little girl. I don't remember the circumstances of their meeting, but I know that she does beauty and hair work as a hobby (perhaps that is what she did before they met, as well). They have built what looks like a little pool house out in back beside the swimming pool, but it turns out to be a fully-equipped, one-chair beauty parlor where Flip's wife still does some work for her friends. All in all, they seemed very happy. It was good to see Flip and Jenny again, and of course I wish them well.


New Year's Eve in Dallas

Well, 1993 has drawn to a close. It is the first full year that I have known Fred, and we have begun taking regular trips together- something I enjoy immensely. My friends all seem to be doing well, my work continues to be fairly steady and so on the whole this year has been a good one.

The final picture of 1993 finds Larry Marshall, myself, Fred and Greg at my house on New Year's Eve. Fred is well on his way to becoming much more than just my friend; Greg is the one friend I have that I have known the longest; Larry is one of my closest friends and the one who helped me the most when Grant died. We plan on spending a quite evening here, although Greg has come from another party, which accounts for his being dressed up.

I spent a pleasant Christmas with Mom and Judy in North Carolina, and drove back to Dallas a few days after Christmas. I picked up about ten new Baskin-Robbins stores on this particular trip. On New Year's Eve, Larry and Greg came over to join Fred and I, and we used Fred's tripod for this shot.

Since Grant and I moved to Dallas, we have had quite a number of good friends. Unfortunately, many of them are no longer around. Too many of them have died, and we have simply lost track of others. My partner, Grant, is also gone, but some of the people we knew together I continue to count among my closest friends. Grant knew all but one of them- Fred. Grant met Larry and introduced him to me. I knew Greg already and introduced him to Grant. Not present this evening were Lowery and Ron and Chris and Ron. These eight people are the constants in my circle of friends, and I hope they always will be.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

October 20-24, 1993: A Trip to Big Bend and Leakey, Texas
Return to the Index for 1993