52.4 F
Fort Worth
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Opinion Richard Connor: We get the boot and city’s legacy stubs its toe

Richard Connor: We get the boot and city’s legacy stubs its toe

Other News

Commentary: TCC Chancellor Eugene Giovannini: Maintaining Our Mission

Since our inception, one of Tarrant County College’s hallmarks has been our unwavering commitment to serving our community. As we all work to navigate...

Commentary: M. Ray Perryman: The Fed is taking largely unseen but essential action

The inevitable and unavoidable result of the extraordinary measures taken to curb the tragic health effects of the coronavirus has been a strong shock...

Commentary: Rising to the Challenge: Coronavirus Spurs Sacrifice and Generosity in Time of Need

These are difficult days. We’re frightened by the havoc COVID-19 may wreak on our families, friends, local businesses and the simple pleasures of life...

Analysis: Notes from a coronavirus hot spot

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans is right outside my door. But I can't go out. Not much, anyway. My wife and I are...
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.

The English language is tricky.

For instance, the words “slim chance” and “fat chance” mean the same thing. So maybe the Fort Worth Business Press should not have asked Justin Boots to give us the boot. They took us literally.

Our business produces numerous recognition events each year and one of the gifts we give our winners is a pair of Justin Boots. The boots are popular with all our honorees but are especially prized among the young achievers we recognize at our annual Forty Under Forty awards. In the past, all 40 have been given a pair of Justin Boots featuring our logo and the words “Forty Under Forty.”

Not this year.

Years of partnering with Justin Boots ended when the company notified us in a letter that it was “passing on this partnership.” The letter said the company may reconsider at a later date.

Oh. I know what you’re thinking. The poor Business Press. Whining about the loss of its boot gift. Hey. The U.S. just dropped the mother of all bombs in Afghanistan. Let’s talk about real problems.

OK, but here’s the point: Fort Worth is changing. Sometimes the changes are wonderful, propelling our city toward a brighter future. But sometimes the changes are painful and destructive, betraying the spirit of community that once made this place so unique.

In this case, the problem isn’t just that the Fort Worth Business Press has been dumped by Justin Boots – a local newspaper’s longstanding partnership with a legendary local company severed with little warning or explanation. The bigger problem is what this development represents.

The letter from Justin Brands president Greg Crouchley said Justin is reviewing all past donations, sponsorship and partnerships because “we are now a division of a much larger company.” True enough, the company once owned and operated locally by John Justin Jr. is now owned by Warren Buffett’s Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.

That’s the same Warren Buffett, by the way, who was in Austin on April 17 lobbying state officials for a special exemption to Texas law that would allow him to sell cars here. Buffett said “jump” and the Legislature asked “how high?”

Buffett’s company is big enough to ask Texas for a favor and get it – and apparently too big to do a favor for 40 Texans who’ve devoted their still young lives to making our state and city a better place to live.

When John Justin came calling to ask a favor or ask a business leader to serve a worthy cause you didn’t hesitate. You said, “Sure thing, Mr. Justin” because you knew he would return the favor without blinking.

He worked with men who carried on his traditions, people such as J.T. Dickinson and Randy Watson, who until last fall ran Justin Brands.

Now Greg Crouchley runs the company and when we phoned him to discuss the boot partnership, we were told he has “an office here” but there was a strong intimation he has an office elsewhere.

Four days later, we were still awaiting a return phone call.

John Justin would have called that poor manners.

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


Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Commentary: When to donate rewards to charity and when to give cash

By ERIN HURD of NerdWalletIf you're looking to give to charity this holiday season but don't want to dip into your bank account, donating...

Commentary: Area mayors say ‘Spread cheer this holiday season, not COVID-19’

Mayors of several cities in Tarrant County released the following message: As we enter the holiday season, it’s becoming all too apparent that this year...

Bill Thompson: Love ’em or hate ’em, Happy Holidays!

For a lot of people, “holiday depression” begins around Thanksgiving, or maybe around the time Christmas songs start blaring on the radio and retail...

Robert Francis: Thanksgiving 1954

If, god forbid, my home ever catches on fire, I would make sure my family was safe, then the pets (my wife might say...

COMMENTARY: Student debt in a stimulus package is not a good solution

Making education more affordable and accessible is critical to our future, but simple, across-the-board debt forgiveness is not the best policy. Student debt has been...