Dad's Memories

- 19 August 98 - 19 August 98

Poppa - Going into Business

Sometimes mundane things play a significant part in life. Like in Real Estate, location is very important, - or just being in the right place at the right time.

For our family, the location of the Republican Party HQ for B'klyn NY - just 1 1/2 blocks from our home on Church Ave - was significant. Our father (Poppa, Pop, or Jim - nobody had a "Dad" in B'klyn) became active in local Republican affairs, and part of a group who played cards on Saturday nites at the big clubhouse upstreet from our house.

Party "big wheels" and influential business execs were also steady participants in these weekly Poker &/or Pinochle games, and as might be expected, the conversation included available business opportunities. A comment by a Goodyear Rubber Co. Mgr. -- that his company had a new line of Hospital/Drugstore products, and needed a " middleman" between Factory and Consumer, led to Jim going into business as a "jobber". In todays more technical oriented parlance that's a sole Factory Representative, Marketing and delivering the product to the ultimate consumer.

The consumer, in this case, being all Hospitals & Drugstores in the Greater NYC Metropolitan territory. A huge market indeed.

The prime product - Surgical Rubber Gloves - was alone forecast to be of sufficient volume to sustain such a private venture - profitably. Other products, Hot Water bottles, Ice Bags, Rubber Sheeting (for bed pads), etc. were also part of the package.

And so, being in the right place at the right time, Poppa started the business venture --- Jas. A. Langdon, Hospital Supplies & Sundries Everything made of rubber --- 830 Rogers Ave. B'klyn NY.

As Company Rep., the Company set the retail price, and sold the goods to Jim at a set discount, for resale to the Consumer. This of course lets the Co. off the hook, as the goods are "sold" on shipment to the Jobber, who must then collect from the consumer to enjoy the discount or "profit margin". And, what risk can there be when the Major Consumer is all those BIG HOSPITALS in NYC ? All ya gotta do is work like a dog, be willing to spend every waking hour on the job, risk losing contact with your family, be Mgr - Salesman - Warehouseman - Stock Clerk - Deliveryman - Customer Relations - Billing clerk - and Collection Agent to wheedle payment out of them there peoples -- and try to make "Quality Time" ( that term had not yet been invented back then) for your family. No piece of cake, that task.

I must say that our "poppa" did a commendable job on those myriad tasks, so that the family could, and did, enjoy a very comfortable home - even tho "quality time" might today be considered limited. Gotta hold talk on that for another session -

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