“Luck is the residue of design.” At least that’s what the great baseball executive (and player) Branch Rickey was known to say!
This afternoon as it started to get late, I pulled over and made my hotel arrangements for the night. I’ve been booking night-by-night, not knowing how far I wanted to push my daily drive. About 80 miles west of Memphis, I open up an app and grabbed a well priced hotel in Memphis for the night; with little regard for location.
After I checked in and cleaned up a bit, I went out to grab some food. Obviously, since I’m in Memphis, barbecue was in order. I googled “Best BBQ Memphis” and found Central BBQ to be rated the city’s best: it was 150 feet out of my hotel’s front door!
And just a short walk from a cigar lounge!!
I hate to disagree with the Hall of Famer Mr. Rickey, but since I hadn’t planned or researched my hotel choice, for me it was “better to be lucky than good!”
At least today!
Back on Route 30 North this morning I decided to stop at the birthplace of President William Clinton, in Hope Arkansas. From there I went to Little Rock and visited the Clinton Presidential Library.
I’ve always been a presidential geek and amateur historian. To me, any president of any party is of interest and Clinton is no different. I think I mentioned the other day that I’ve visited 15 presidential birthplaces or libraries but I just checked my list and Clinton is number 19!!
Twenty if you count my visit to the Starbucks in Trump Tower!
Almost halfway there!
But before I made my way to the library I had some work to do: find an independent paint retailer and give them a visit!
Independent paint dealers are hard to find out here!
I guess I knew that, but as a New Yorker it doesn’t really compute.
Where I’m from it seems like every 7-11 is an independent paint retailer! Out here in the heartland, it’s SW and PPG country. If I hadn’t found these stores in Little Rock, I’d have had to drive two-hours out of my way to find the next closest independent!
I understand the deal with Ace better now than I ever did before this trip!
Thankfully in Little Rock, I uncovered a great retailer: Spectrum Paint!
Spectrum Paint is a great success story. Through Allpro, I’ve known the owner Travis for about 15 years. When I met him he had 5-6 stores and now he’s up to 80+! Spectrum is one of the largest independent paint retailers in the country!
The manager in their Little Rock store, Blake Brokeshoulder, could not have been nicer. He’s got a great looking store which sells Benjamin Moore, PPG and Spectrum’s own private label. He shared that as much as 70% of his volume is with the residential repaint contractors: about average for independents.
Their best selling line from Benjamin Moore is the Ultra-Spec, though they had Regal and Aura as well. He sold Cabot’s, PPG, Regal and Arborcoat for exteriors with PPG and Corotech for his industrial customers. Their outside reps are having good luck with the Scuff-X, which I hear from a lot of dealers.
I couldn’t help but notice how many lines of brushes he sold; stocking Premier, Allpro, Wooster and Corona! I’m always surprised as a New Yorker when I see a store without Purdy; we could not have survived without them!
They we’re also filling their own spray cans!
Finally on the right side of the Mississippi River, I suspect that I won’t have to drive out of my way anymore to find an independent the rest of the way back to Connecticut.
If I’m wrong, I’ll have to ask Dan to kick in some gas money!
I listened to some outstanding music along the way. When I have the time, I still prefer listening to “full albums”, in order; the way the artists intended them! Today I listened to Abbey Road, Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf and Born To Run.
With the wide opened roads, the great music and a fine car, it’s hard to keep my speed under 90 MPH. But I’m not really trying to!
It was a good time to be alone: I was screaming along to every word of every song. I’d say that I was singing along, but I can’t sing.
Not well at least.
On Abbey Road, Paul McCartney tells us that “in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make!”
Hard to argue with that!
PS The best I can tell, there are 1000+ of you following me along on my travels. Thank you so much for the company. It really means a lot to me to have connected with you all.