Friday, November 14, 2008

'The First Billion Is the Hardest'

Reading this book...

Octogenarian T. Boone Pickens may be known primarily now as the billionaire touting alternative energy, but for the former oil man, it's just a small part of his impressive comeback

In his new book, "The First Billion Is the Hardest: Reflections on a Life of Comebacks and America's Energy Future," Pickens highlights his lengthy career and life.
He goes beyond just how he made his fortune and also discusses his painful divorce, bout with depression and financial slowdown.
From top dog to the man many counted out, Pickens has emerged better off than he's ever been.

Blood, Guts, and Feathers
Booneism #1: Don't rush the monkey, and you'll see a better show.
Risk has always been a part of my life. I'm not sure whether I'm drawn to it or it's drawn to me, but at every point in my eighty years, I've been faced with a challenge, and in just about every instance I've taken it. Even my birth was a do-or-die proposition.

My mother went into labor on May 21, 1928. It was a long ordeal, and things weren't going well. The doctor, George Wallace, took my father, Tom, into a small room and closed the door. He had a grave look on his face, and my father immediately spotted a large book on a table. He assumed it was a Bible.
"Your wife has been in labor a long time, and she can't deliver. I'm worried about her. You can save your wife or your baby, but not both," Dr. Wallace said.

My father wasn't an either-or sort of guy. He was a natural-born risk taker and the son of a Methodist preacher. And so when Dr. Wallace, who happened to be a surgeon, told him that it was either my mother, Grace, or me, my father refused to choose. He pleaded with the doctor to try the first Caesarean section in that hospital's history.
"Well, Tom, I've heard about a C-section, but I've never done one," the doctor said. He pointed to the book on the table. "All I've got is a page and a half and one picture in that medical book to go by."
"We're gonna pray, and you're gonna deliver the baby," my father told him.
A short time later, Dr. Wallace came out of the operating room with a broad smile on his face. He had just performed his first Caesarean. The procedure wouldn't be repeated at that hospital for more than twenty-five years. Dr. Wallace was a surgeon-no general practitioner would have ever performed a C-section-and he'd lived in that small town in Oklahoma for just two years. The odds of him being the man that delivered me were slim at best. I've always thought I was the luckiest man alive, and right from the start I proved it.


No comments: