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Motorists pull in to fill up at Billups, selling gas for 18 cents a gallon. photo courtesy of USA Archives
Uncle Henry

Some of Mobile's latter day Southern belles in crinoline grace the entrance to the old Roxy Theater at the local premiere of "Gone With The Wind." photo courtesy of USA archives
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Vita Sua in a Bygone Mobile

Part 15 in a series: XX's charm and generosity strange and oily. AR twists the knife.

Previous installments: 1, 2 , 3 , 4567, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, and 14 .

By A.D.
Mobile Bay Times
When I returned to Mobile the atmosphere at SR was markedly different.

XX now, apparently, had learned that something was in the wind. Just what, I am sure, he did not know.

Given his character, his reaction was strange indeed. He turned on his considerable charm, with BH and I its particular targets.

I've talked to Mr. M
and he has agreed
that you boys
should be promoted
to assistant
managers," XX told
us. "And I've
worked up a
contract for you
both that I'm sure
will make you

XX produced the
document which
was indeed a most
attractive offer considering our former experience.
The contract ran for a year, was renewable each year at the option of both parties, promised us a fixed salary regardless of production and, for the first time, guaranteed a percentage of our production -- 33 percent -- which while not overly generous was a vast improvement over our current working terms.

XX pressed me to sign it. I gave him the flimsy excuse that I wanted to talk it over with C at home and that I'd let him know in a few days. This must have sounded strange since the offer was, compared to our past arrangement, a magnificent one.

It was back to the telephone to tell G.T. we were ready to move. Monday, August 6 was set as the date we would drop our bombshell. We would give two weeks notice and plan to report to EFH Aug. 20.

Meanwhile, BH, through his friend, DC, the manager of the Waterman Building, had obtained an option on seventh floor office space in that building and this was to be our new home. Building maintenance personnel began making the changes needed to convert the space to a brokerage office.

Now it was time to make at least a partial repayment to our "boss" for his years of tyranny.

AR was picked for the chore of informing XX, a task which he relished. Although, he was a comparative newcomer, AR, a combative sort, was perhaps the most determined member of our cabal.

BH and I were to call the senior Mr. M and pass on the word.

We were to strike an hour or so after the market's close that Monday.

The appointed hour arrived and we dialed Mr. M.

My voice was strained as I spoke, "Mr. M, we're leaving SR."

"Mmmm, where are you going, A?"

"We're going with EFH."

"You, too, BH."

"Yes, Mr. M, all
of us, except

"Well, good

That was it.

At just about
that precise
moment, AR
was confronting
XX at the
'A' Club.

A few moments
later, an excited
AR joined his equally excited mates in the office.

He chuckled, "You should have seen his face. He turned green, purple, then white and looked like he was going to have a heart attack."

AR had thoroughly enjoyed the experience and truthfully, I can find no fault with him because of it.

It was difficult to feel sorry for XX.

(Next: Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble! Charlie is fitted for a black hat. Mel shocks us all.)