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Richard Connor: 2018 says hello to dogs, memories and future plans

My friend Marvin Girouard sent me a year-end 2017 note which was kind and touching. Said he used the holidays to catch up on some reading, including a column or two of mine.

Marvin underestimated my resolve to decorate my lawn at Christmas with a large, corny inflatable. This column is accompanied by a photo of “Pretzel,” who still stands watch as Christmas 2017 fades into memory. We purchased Pretzel in honor of our new puppy, “Noodle,” a blue dapple miniature dachshund.

In his note, Marvin said he felt a kinship with me because of several things, one being a love of animals. I am pleased to let him know my daughter Meredith and I added a Golden Retriever puppy to the home at Christmas. “Nelly” was purchased to try to keep pace with Noodle’s indefatigable energy.

That part of the experiment appears to have failed, but a second puppy is much like a second child. You don’t believe you can love one as much as the first but you do. Oh boy, do you ever!

Next year I will have to look for an inflatable Golden Retriever. Just keep bringing down the neighborhood.

Acquiring two puppies at a time when I thought that part of my life was behind me has been a fantastic and energizing experience. Turns out I am better prepared, primarily because I have more patience. The happiness and humor the dogs provide is unmatched. And from a dog you can learn the true meaning of loyalty – and, yes, love.

I feel sorry for those who do not have the pleasure of this appreciation.

Marvin also mentioned our mutual love for our city. We share its past as businessmen. He ran Pier 1 for many years and has a genius for merchandising and leadership. He enjoyed a friendly, tongue-in-cheek rivalry with Len Roberts, who ran Tandy and RadioShack at the same time Girouard was heading up Pier 1. Both men are highly-skilled and were busy creating value, good jobs and careers for others.

I ran the Star-Telegram during part of that time before starting my own company.

All of us were part of the go-go years in our businesses but probably did not realize it. Times change. Trends flourish and fade. Businesses evolve.

What has not changed is the commitment to the community shared by these men and others who went before them. They made a living here and when they left their jobs continued to live here. They serve on various boards and continue to be active. That’s not always the case in business, especially with executives who are accustomed to moving from one challenging job to another.

Fort Worth is a bigger and more complex city than it was when we were all in what might be considered our business prime. For me, the jury is still out on who will emerge as new leaders of this city.

At the Business Press one of the things we will do in 2018 is try to identify those new leaders who will be the Girouards and Robertses of the future.

That search will be part of our coverage as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Business Press. We will look back at three decades of business stories, trends and leaders – and we will also look ahead.

It’s fun to look back, to reminisce with folks such as Marvin Girouard, but it is no less exciting and rewarding to embrace the present and anticipate the future. We invite you to join us on our journey through the years.

Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at

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Richard Connor
Richard Connor is the owner and CEO/Publisher of DRC Media, the parent company of the Fort Worth Business Press. he also owns newspapers in Virginia. Mr. Connor held a number of corporate media executive positions before founding his own company. He is an award-winning columnist and at one time wrote a weekly column on national politics for CQ Politics, the online version of Washington, D.C.-based Congressional Quarterly.

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