On getting laryngitis, Crest Foods


My wife Valerie likes to sleep with the ceiling fan running at full speed and with another rotating tower fan at the foot of the bed. She is incredibly hot natured, and it amazes me that she never gets sick from this arctic temperature in our bedroom.

Me, on the other hand/side-of-the-bed, am extremely cold natured due to my thyroid/excessive Monster energy drink problem and usually sleep in flannel or even thermal tops and bottoms year-round.

I must protect my voice, much like a lead singer of any music group since my job is to talk to folks about 20 hours a day. I have never had laryngitis in my life and have never had to rely on texting or emails to communicate. I love talking with people on the phone and even more so face-to-face. That all changed this past week.

Last Friday afternoon, I went home early and felt absolutely exhausted. I started to call Mercy Health Canadian County and go see Dr. Kent Studebaker and his wonderful right-hand girl/nurse Deborah Jameson to check me out and see if I needed a tablet, ice pack, transfusion, mental health facility recommendation, additional face-lift-consult or a simple shot and a cot! I usually never delay in going to see these two if I even remotely start feeling bad. But oh no, not this time.

After convincing Valerie that her constant cold air blowing on me had finally made me sick, she let me turn the thermostat up to 67 degrees and turn off those ceiling fans so I could sleep. By Saturday morning, I woke up with chills and severe congestion in my nose and pressure in my chest and by noon was locked down on the couch for the rest of the weekend. I had spent more than $100 on Mucinex, Sominex, and Tilex to try and knock out this crisis!

Monday morning rolled around with an early call from my Mom. When I answered my phone, my worst fear in the world was quickly realized. I had no voice. I could not talk at all. No sound was coming out. I was shocked. I quickly called and made my appointment to see Studebaker, Jameson and Associates!

Randel Grigsby (former Yukon Review partner) once told me that the three most important people in your life are your doctor, your lawyer and your CPA. Randel was so right. I got in to the clinic and within 10 minutes Deborah Jameson was calling me back to my usual room. Deborah looked different. I immediately asked her if she had been lifting weights or running because for a woman, who looks like she is 39-years-old, resembled an MMA competitor ready to take on Rhonda Rousy or Holly Holm!

Jameson is slim, trim and light on her feet. She bounced into that room, took my blood pressure and heart rate, ordered me to bend over to administer a steroid shot then called in my prescription in only a few minutes after “CLARK KENT” Studebaker performed his Superman inspection of my vocal cords. These two superheroes are the tag-team champions of the WWE in my book!

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Back in 1984, I was a freshman in college and worked for a specialty grocery company here in the OKC area called L.D. Jones Food Company. We specialized in gourmet food products, specialty meets, cheeses, dairy items, frozen food and my favorite Holland House drink mixes.

One of my accounts at the time was Crest Foods when the only store they operated was at 7212 East Reno in Midwest City. I had never seen anything quite like the way this store was operated and as I became friends with the managers and owners I learned a valuable lesson in how to deal in volume. Back in the day, the late Nick Harroz believed in a philosophy to stack it deep and sell it cheap. He made pennies per item and sold many, many items to build his fortune with his sons Gary and Bruce. Gary got killed at the store in a tragic forklift accident and the only time in Crest Foods history that they have ever been closed was for four hours so all employees could attend Gary’s funeral.

Bruce Harroz and his longtime manager Kevin Ergenbright told me more than 35 years ago how to run a business plan with the volume way of thinking. I utilize it today in my businesses. I remember an October night in 1984 when all the vendors were assembled to rest several aisles to make room for new products that had to be integrated on the shelves.

It was about 11 p.m. and Nick Harroz came up to me along with Bruce and told me how much Nick loved to eat this specialty item I sold known as “POPPYCOCK.” I had already finalized my shelve schematic and had an extra case of it sitting there. I reached down and told Nick Harroz to take it home and that it was on L.D. Jones.

Bruce offered me a job the next day in his store and told me I would always have a job with him.

Don’t be surprised if Crest Foods ends up on the far east side of Yukon in the next several years and that’s not just “POPPYCOCK.”

Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?