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Title: Interview with Robert Finkernagel (December 11, 1987)
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Title: Interview with Robert Finkernagel (December 11, 1987)
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Language: English
Publication Date: December 11, 1987
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Spatial Coverage: 12071
Lee County (Fla.) -- History.
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Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00006588
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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the University of Florida.







D--We'are starting a second interview with Bob Finkernagel. It's Dec. 11,

1987. And we are Paul Sandler's office, Community National BAnk. And

the interviewer is David Dodrill.

Bob, I wanted to ask you a couple more things. Just to clarify. Back

up a little bit from when we talked last time about you positions with

Gulf America. You started out wehn you came in, what was your position

with them?

B-Managing director of Cape Coral. And I had nothing to do with engineering

or sales. I was mainly involved in cutting the umbilical cord between

the developer, Gulf American and the residents here. VWhen we started

CApe Coral we wanted to make sure-that the people were happy so we did

things that, like a company town in Pennsylvania, a mining town. We took

care of everything. We had our own police force, the sheriff. WTe wel-

comed newcomers with a party and we just.... And we needed to cut that

so they'd start doing for themselves some of the community activities

that would be normal in a community. Starting the rotary club, starting

the Chamber of Commerce. The Kiwanis Club and that sort of thing. We,

for example, said we can't supply the police anymore, this is costing us

too much. So the sheriff finally agreed that he would send a patrolman

to live out at Cape Coral. lHe sent I.ajor Val EVerlly. And we helped

Val because it was more expensive to live in Cape Coral than in Ft. Myers

in those days. We helped him the rental of a home for him. And so that

way the sheriff took over the expenses of what we were doing. We did

the same thing with the post office. We had a post office that got a

hundred dollars a year from the federal government and it was in the

downtown shopping center. And we had a postman here. And the mailboat

would stop at the little dock that we built up where the yacht club is

now and the mail would come in from Ft. Myers. The postmaster would go

down and get the mail and then the boat went up to Sanibel and Captiva








2

and turned around and came back and would stop at 5:00 or 4:30 in the

afternoon and we would put the outgoing mail on there. And so I got with,

I can't think of his name. lie was a congressman. Congressman IHailey out

of SArasota. To help us get a real live postal employee here. And the

Ellis Soloman was postmaster in Ft. Myers. He convinced us that rat-

her than try to get our own Cape Coral post office it would be easier and

.quicker to get a branch of the Ft. Myers post office. And that's what we

did. And later on the....

D--About what year was that?

B--It would be '62 or '63. In that era. Because I got here in '61 and that

was one of my first projects. To get the federal government to start

paying the bill for the post office. I'm trying to think of anything

else. Well, they attracted doctors. Dr. Tate was the first one. Univer-

sity of Richmond, School of Medicine. He was a landholder. He had bought

some land and did his residence in Mialon Park Hosipital in St. Peters-

burg. Up to that time we had convinced the doctor in Ft. Myers to

come over every Thursday afternoon and treat the wounded and sick in Cape

Coral. And he would fish his way across the river and we bought him

aoubt 7000 dollars worth of equipment to set up an office. This is a

Ft. Myers man. And we had the clinic in the only shopping center. That

shopping center included the post office, the Lutheran church held services

there and now we had a doctor's clinic. Obviously, you can't run health

for the community on Thurday afternoons most of the time. We needed a

doctor. So, Dr. Tate cane down looking for a place to practice. And

liked Cape Coral and had already purchased some land in Cape Coral, at

some party that was held somewhere in the world. So we gave Dr. Tate the

equipment tat we had and kept the rent on the office for him. And guar-

anteed him a minimum salary, so to speak. Or income for the first year.

Well, we never had to meet that because his practice over and above that








3

four so we didn't have to, but it was there in case it took longer for

Bob to get established. He was such a personable doctor that it didn't

take long at all. And later on he brought in a partner, Dr. Wally Dawson.

And then they bought in Tom Hinkle. Tom was the third doctor in.

D-I coached his sons over at the high school.

B--So, that's why I was brought to Cape Coral.

D--Did you hold that managing director position for the entire time you were

with Gulf?

B--Yes, I changed titles and took on more responsibility corporate wise. Leo-

nard asked me do some things that were above and beyond. Paul Sanborn then

became the man that took care of the things that I was doing as far as the

people and the public was concerned. And did a very good job. We've

always gotten along well and I was happy to bring him down to me. He

started doing those sort of things, organizing groups to do things that

we had been doing for them.

D--So, then as he began more of that, you were shifted into some other....

B--I shifted more into external public relations and public affairs, mar-

keting and advertising. We had a very fine inhouse advertising agency

in Baltimore. Paul Venzi Paul had the most dynamic woman promotion

and marketing person that I haver ever met on his staff. And a lot of

the ideas originated from the advertising department. In addition to

creating some of our own we would handle the Cape Coral end of some of

the promotions that we worked on jointly with Paul Venzi A lot of

the t.v. commercials. We did everything we could to get a third party

talking positively about Cape Coral and Gulf America. So we entertained

loads of editors, real estate editors, sports editors, financial eidtors.

And they would be invited to come down to Cape Coral. Because you had to

have a lot of foresight when you saw Cape Coral, in those days. Two lanes

of Del Prado. So, for example....







4

D--Before you do that example, that woman...?

B-Bernice Freiberg. Her married name is Kretzmer. She's a dynamic lady and

she and I hit it off great. We would.... We worked the Worlds' Fair

together.

D--The New York's World's Fair?

B--Yes, in '64. We had a lot of promotion tied in. We wanted people to come

see the land and they six months decision privileges. If they didn't

like it after they purchased in Cleveland or wherever the party was being

held, they could come down and cancel. We wanted these third party peo-

ple talking. So if a real estate editor was invited down we would arrange

to have a cocktail party for a chance for him to meet people from his

circulation area, Cleveland area, who had already moved here. We were

very confident that they wouldn't leave the wrong impression because they

were truly happy living in Cape Coral. And if it was a sports editor we

would take him fishing and so we had it up with like, one year, and I

don't remember the year, we had our own news bureau of Cape Coral, big

sale to us. Dick Sayers, who was county commissioner for a while was in

charge of working, in charge of our news bureau. We had a full time photoO

grapher. Eileen' Bernard who edited our monthly publication called the

Sun, Cape Coral Sun, a good writer and editor. And a couple of other

people.Vince SM.ith who is a golf writer now for the news press and another

publications,I'm not sure, worked with us as a sports. lie would do the

work of a sports editor now.

D--Let me ask you a question about the financing of all this promotion. In

other words, when people were brought down, the cocktail parties, that was

all paid for by Gulf?

B--Oh, yeah.

D--What kind of a budget did you work with? CAn you remember?

B--I don't remember the total marketing budget, advertising budget. But it








5
was more than the state of Florida was spending at that time. It was called

I can't remember what the name of the division was in Tallahassee.

It later came under business development. Anyway,....

D-So, for all advertising including....

B-This is all what they said was up front money too. They would spend this

money in only recoup it over a ten year period. You could spend the money

to develop the lot until it was livable. Mae sure there was electricity

to it. And that's money up front. And then you waited for the monthly

payments to come in. So we built a tremendous book of receivables.

Hundreds of millions of dollars, of receivables.

D--Was there any restriction put on you as far as what you could do to pro-

mote or if you came up with an idea for a promotion did you pretty much

have the o.k. to go along with it or did you need to apss it by...?

B--As a rule it was a joint committee function to say what we were going to

do. You had very little problems in Gulf America'doing things even if

they turned out to be not so great. Leonard Rosen was a great one to

keep plugging on and try something else. Not be discouraged. But if you

don't do anything he would get a little angry about it. He wanted you to

have the ability to fail and the ability to win.

D--Would you get together with Leonard and some of others and just kind of

brainstorm or would somebody come up with an idea and everybody get

together and talk about it. How were those decisions made?

B--:.ost of the marketing and promotion activities and the people that ran

the activities were situated with Jack Rosen, Leonard Rosen's brother.

le was the promotion man. Leonard confined himself more to the development

of the property and the purchasing of land, the financing that went into

raising capital, And although he and Jack were different in that regard,

they hd a strong bond between them. They fought like cats and dogs, but

wow be to the man who would jump in the middle of that one.







6

D--So, Jack would have a lot of input into promotion.

B--Oh, yeah. We would for sure run all things through Baltimore. Jack kept

his office in Baltimore until very late in the tenure of Gulf America.

Another thing we wanted to do to get the editors talking about it, give

the impression of a young community. Because in those days, every town

like Cape Coral developed into a retirement community. And that was al-

most a negative in the promotion of the city. So we tried to give the

outward appearance of youth. For exmaple, it would have been very easy

for Bernice and some of us to arrange to have one of the golf tour stops

at our Cape Coral Country Club. But we thought it would be better if we

had an intercollegiate golf tournament stop here. So we started that

and invited forty schools to send their four man golf team. We started

the first Florida Intercollegiate Tournament, which culminated in 1972

when the National Intercollegiate, the first time it was held in Florida,

was held here. And a lot of the people that are on the tour today making

big money were amateurs playing for their college or coming through here.

D--Fantastic.

D--And we did that same thing with the Florida Intercollegiate Tennis Tourna-

ment. We provided all of the facilities andmeals and use of the courses

and courts. In addition, another to keep the youthful appearance we

made arrangements to have the MLiss Florida World contest. One of the

first judges was on night time television, the interviewer, Larry King.

He was a radio personality in M.iami and he was the first group of judges

for Hiss Florida World. MiLss Florida World then went on to I iss World

or Hiss U.S.A. or something. But anyway, it was young girls.

D--What year was that, do you remember?

B--We ran it for four or five years. I would say, oh it had to be before

'64 because we took her to the world's fair. So, it would be '63 or '64.

Even '62 maybe. When the World's Fair we had a booth with the Miss







7

Florida World on it. Took her to the fair and made arrangements ahead

of time for all the private meeting you have. We got a lot of mileage

out of it.

D--You mentioned that you wanted to kind of get across the idea to the rest

of the country that this was not a retirement center. It was a youthful

thing. Were there any other types of images that you wanted to get ac-

ross in publicity?

B--Vell, stability was important in our sales and our marketing efforts. This

thing is really going to happen and of course Connie Hack, Jr. and Bill

Stern were spokesmen for Cape Coral. The type of reputation and the

name recognition. So they worked with us. The people in Cape Coral and

Ft. Myers played a big part, some of them. I think I mentioned

Wels*h and Harry Fagan. Well, they believed in it. And there again, that

was strong statement, coming from men of that stature in that community.

D--Anything else? Any other concept or image that you were trying to get

across? in the publicity, in advertising?

B--No, I don't think so. I think that was the main. If somebody writes

about you, you'd rather than write about yourself. Sort of the positive.

This is why we would do things.... Chevrolet would make commercials out

here. Ford Company. Not only the money that we'd spend to bring the

Chevrolet advertisers in, even bigger was how many visuals or how many

audios we would get in the script. Or the commercial. That got to be

funny sometimes. Vell, you can putthat sign there but it can't be a

three foot sign, it has to be a two foot sign. And sooner or later you

get the director giving you your way. I'll see you tomorrow in Cape

Coral where I'll see you tomorrow might have been enough for the script.

They stuck in that. And that's the days before you had to list promotions.

On t.v., cars furnished by so and so or airlines furnished by so and so.

D--That's great. Now, was advertising a separate section from you or was

that part of you thing?








8
B-That was mostly a PaulVenzi. operation. Sales promotion was aVenzi
operation. How you go about getting customers to come in and talk to

you, or couples to come in and talk to you, or we'd go talk to them

and they got very, really professional at that. They had parties all

over the United States and Europe. They had great brokers in Belgium

and France and Switzerland and as a result a lot of Europeans bought

property here.

D-So, you job was more to promote Cape Coral itself.

B--Well, I got involved more and more with sales promotions along with

Bernice Freiberg. That was really her forte. Arranging ways to get

more sales.

D--I think that is probably the name of the game.

B--I don't want to leave the impression that I had a hand in everything,

I didn't. I reported to Leonard or Charlie IHepner who was executive

vice president. Everybody pitched in.

D--You mentioned Connie Mack and Bill Stern as two names or celebrities

that were used to promote Cape Coral. Were there others that were

used that kind of became associated with Cape Coral.

B--Not to the stature of those two fellows. 7When we built Rio Rico, or

started Rio Rico out in Arizona, we had Will Rogers, Jr. who lived

about ten or fifteen miles away from it, the construction work at Pio

Rico. He was a spokesman. Bill came on down. My dad would've loved

this land and that kind of thing.

D--Tell me a little bit about the different publicity things that were used

to promote Cape Coral. I !mow that there was they gave away some hones

on the Price is Right. Tell me a little bit about sone of those.

B--Well, here again, it was to call attention to the community. Of course,

probably the biggest one was the garden of Patriots. And Cape Coral

Gardens. That included, but we had a intercollegiate sculpting contest.

And the winner would put their bust in the garden. We had, of course,







9

dancing waters, the garden of patriots building. We had quite an im-

pressive list on the letterhead of the garden of patriots. John Mc-

Cormick, the speaker of the house, Angie B. Bittle, and that kind of

people were on the garden of patriots. And we gave awards called

history happened here. For example, we went to Twin Lake State Park in New

Jersey which was the home of the Coast Guard and we put a plaque from

the garden of patriots. A number of things like that. WE would call the

media up ahead of time. Bob Hope day, he was the patriot of the year. He

came and put on a show at the garden.

D--When was that?

B-It was the late sixties. It was before '69.

D--Some people say that giving the homes away on the Price is Right kind

of made Gulf AmericaJna household word, true? Was it that big of a deal?

B--Cape Coral, they would remember, not Gulf Americai. Television like that,

those kind of game shows, you had a million audience and you were almost

continuously giving away homes. And they bought, they paid for part of

the home, it wasn't a freebee. It was a deduction if they continued to

use them.

D-- 17To were some of the other famous people that came to Cape Coral or were

used in different spots or press releases?

1--Well, we had Route GG television crew came in for three segments. They

made a movie, Jack E.Leonard, Brian Donovan, Jay lansfield. Another

forgetables. Called the FAt Spy. I think it opened on late night t.v.

I got a call from a guy in Boston. lie said, "YOu won't believe it.

There's a movie on here called the Fat Spy. I hope it doesn't go too

far."

D--I heard it was pretty terrible.

B--Oh, it really was.

Everybody came here sooner or later. Franklin Roosevelt, Jr. was here







10

to dedicate the Four Freedoms Park which we built and took Roosevelts'

four freedom speech. So, he came over, in memory of his father and

dedicated it. We had everybody from Happy Chandler.

D--How many peopel were invited? Did you call them up and see if they

wanted to come or did they hear about it and want to come?

B--We would find someone that we knew mutually and they would break the .

ice. Connie Mack's name broke a lot of ice. You could get in most

doors with his name. His son's proving it now. In Congress and running

for Senate. National love affair with the original Connie. Anybody that

knew anything about baseball would immediately know. And then Connie

Jr., the Connie that I worked with for ten years was just so easy to

get along with. So gentlemanly. For example, we wanted to hire Arnold

Palmer to play for us as a lot of the pros do. And Connie made the

arrangements. We never did come to a final agreement, but that's the

kind of thing. Then we talk about Johnny Carson, and the owner of the Jets,

geeat Putgers supporter. Had Race horses. Sonny Werblin brought in. In the

AL. Ile lived across the hall in the United Nations apartments. Across

the hall from Johnny Carson. So, he arranged for us to get in and talk

with Carson about representing us. Nothing happened with that. That fell

through. He really wanted a lot more than we were willing to pay. And

he would do less than we proposed. 17e could use his head in billboards

adn a statement or two about Cape Coral. But, it was going to cost too

much, we couldn't afford it. I told you the rose story, of how we got

the rose gardens.

D--Yes.

JB--So, you know that.

D--Yes, I have that. You mentioned, when we talked before, when Gulf put

down a down payment for a football team. Could you tell me that story

again?








11

B--Well, the AFL was going toexpand, and what's the name of the Commissioner,

Governor of North Dakota. He was a war hero. We applied for the

opportunity to get the new franchise in lMiami and Connie and Mr. Rosen

and I went to New York for and interview. This was at the Waldorf. And

a number of groups were being interviewed for it. And,Joe oss was it.

And after our interview we got a phone call saying we had it. And ve

put 250,000 dollars to go through with the contract which I think was

some ridiculously low figure like 1,750,000. And then the 250,000 vould

make the 2,000,000 selling price. And that was no problem. And we were interviewed

by George Wilson, Lamar Hunt, Sonny Werblin. And then Leonard started getting

rumblings from around the country, if you have enough money to buy a foot-

ball team maybe you ought to increase you development schedule here at

CApe Coral. Instead of having people wait ten years, they would only have

to wait eight years.

D-Was that from financial people, from banks?

B--Yes. Our brokers were getting feedback on it and it was probably ligeti-

rmate statements. Dut anyway, we had it. One day Connie iIack got a call

from Leonard asking if he had any doubts to talk with the AFL people

and ask him to bring me along. Connie and I went to Dallas. V'e were

going there thinking we were going to get our 250,000 dollars back be-

cause Leonard had cold feet. And they thought we were coming with the

1,750,000 dollars to close the deal. And they really were a class opera-

tion. They had no obligation to give us back the 250,000. They got on

the phone and called Joe Fosse who was in the office in New York and

said to cut them a new check or give them their money back. hich I

thought was very nice. And we agreed not to talk about this until the

other candidates. Finally Joe Robby and Joe Thomas got it.

D--About when was all this?

B--This was, again, in the sixties. I'm trying to tie everything to the





LA I
12

World's Fair is what I'm trying to do. It might have been the '64 and

'65 era, but you could check that out and find when the ATL decided to

expand.

D-I understand there was some races held here. Were they hydroplane races

or different things that went on?

B-Well, the offshore racing, you are not referring to that are you? That

was not a Gulf American or GAC. We have a standing joke. We have the

first annual hydroplane races out in front of the yacht club. WE never

had another one. That was a public relations firm out of Miami. The

Woody Kepnet Agency. We employed them as the consultants for public

relations. And they arranged the Miss Florida World and all that. Some
at5
lady had the franchise in Coral Gables for that. They would just as soon

hold it here rather than someplace else. But the Woody Kepner agency

always got a kick out of the first annual. That was it. It was the

first and only.

D--Was there ever a sense when you were doing promotion that you were doing

things like had been done in the twenties, the boon times in jiani.

D--Oh, yeah. Nothing new in sales promotion. Iavid L'errick and his devel-

opment of Coral Gables. Willing Jennings Bryan three time candidate for

President of the United States was a pitch man for rDvid Merrick. He

would stand on the back of a vagon with a pitcher of lemonade and a

towel around his shirt so it wouldn't get dirty. And sell the advantages

while ivin4 of living in a place called Coral Gables. A swamp west of

Iiari. And they would bringpeople down to !aiani to see, the early

twenties, I guess it was. The Pacific Railroad had the same kinds of

things were we would put people on a plane and bring them down, they would

put them on a train and take them out to the undeveloped lands and take

them out to Iorth Dakota. And convince them to buy land there and start

homesteading. And they would recruit people in rinniapolis and Chicago









13

wherever the great northern started and use the same technique, so much

down and so much a month and you owned five acres of North Dakota or

something. We used that kind of thing, only we had Modern Air,

but the serious side, you can't bring everybody to Cape Coral to sell

land. You have to sell Cape Coral in cities around the United States,

parties. The hard sell, really because you can't walk out of there. And

so we made it easy for them to buy, again with the six months exchange

priviledge.

D--Was that something new that Gulf American had done? Selling land with

brokers all over the country and the world?

B--No, General Development was in business before we were. And they did

that. They had an overseas operation. The Maddds' then split off from

General Development and they were a few years ahead of us. We just re-

fined it down to more of a quantity basis. We were bigger than they were.

They were very big. General Development build a house in Grand Central

Station. And gave the house away. Heard about them hand delivering it

in Port Charlotte or Port St. Lucie. And that's how they ran it.

D--Any other promotions that particularly stick out in your mind? WEre

either particularly successful or particularly unsuccessful?

B--WIell, we had the garden of patriots, rose garden which was 40,000 rose

bushes. And we made a plaque for the garden of patriots rose garden and

called eight of the governors and ask if they'd like to present this to

the garden of patriots and they could plant the rose garden in front of

the capitol or in front of the man. So, we did that. The first we

tried it at was Alaska. Can you believe that the governor of Alaska

said he would be happy to accept? And accept a rose garden from the

garden of patriots in Florida. And we went crazy because we were afraid

that this might set a trend and would have to spend so much money carrying

the roses and plaque out to there and go to the meeting and that sort of





-q3
14

thing. So we devised what we thought was a good way of compromise. WE

called a chairman of a women's garden club of Alaska and the Garden Club

of Anchorage. And Juneau. We shipped them because we figured they would

be happy to go to the governor's office in Juno and accept the things

and present them for us. And that's how we did it and we got in every

state except Virginia. For some reason, we couldn't bust Virginia.

D--So, you sent a plaque or did you send roses too?

B-We sent rose bushes that were planted there. And that promotion started

at the Overseas Press Club in New York City. Jackson and Perkin's Rose

Company had a p.r. man who lived at the Overseas Bress Club. And Bernice

met me ii town, we'd stop by and chat with him. We were sitting

around the lounge of the overseas Dress Club one day and there was a

picture of Lady Byrd Johnson doing something. Cleaning up the side-

walks of Washington or something like that. I said, "You know, we've

got to use her somehow." And the dialogue went on and on and on. Finally,

this guy said "We'll make her the chairman of 'Let's beautify America'

program." so, that's what started the roses going out. We got Lady

Byrd Johnson to have Jack Rosen and some of the people at the Whitehouse

and that's how we got into the 49 governor's houses. 3y using "Let's

Beautify America." I don't know what year it was, but it was Nay. I

remember it was May. And so, he provided the rose bushes, we provided

the plaque and off we went. It was a very good promotion.

D--Any other promotions that you can think of? Off the top of your head?

B--Oh, we did a promotion with U.S. Rubber. They make bathing caps. We

got then to name one the Cape Coral. And in that hat the opportunity

for us to have the name Cape Coral, we put a coupon in that hat offering

them three nights and four days or something in Cape Coral. And this

made a good promotion for a year. That's why it was good. You not only

got a hat, but you got something for it. That was the piggyback kind of







15

promotion that we did. We did a McCall's. We built a house down in the

garden. We got a McCall's magazine ad. Called a promoter with this idea

that we had. And they held a symposium in Florida inviting women's club

presidents, garden club people to the Cape Coral Yacht Club. And we

got ideas from them, "If you had to build you house again, what would

you do differently? What do you think is important in a house?" We had

architects there as a panel &interior decorators there as a panel. And

we had one designed using the suggestions from women all over Florida.

Interesting enough, one thing that came out the most in the surveys, a

lot more soundproof bathrooms. Some houses were so if you closed the door

it didn't cut down on the noise of using the bathroom. But anyway, we

built this house down in the rose garden as a sample house and then

gave it away, a duplicate on a lot. But LIcCall's had a feature on it.

We had a General Electric man in charge of designing kitchens. So we got

GE involved. Pretty soon we had all these people working on this McCall's

house. We got five or six or seven pages in M-cCall's. Showing blue-

prints and views from the different.... Again, it was another person

involved with Gulf Al.erican, another company involved with Gulf American.

PD--Were there any schemes that were thought up and then were cancelled be-

fore they got off the ground?

D--Yes. We were approached one time by an acquaintence of Leonards who I

think was involved finally with the,The Funeral in Berlin and HIarry

Brocoli and Charles Kisher for notion picture producer. Michael Caine

was one of theri main attractions. They made a number of movies, anyway.

They contacted us about making a movie here at Cape Coral. Of course, we

jumped at it, momentarily. The name of the movie was to be The Incred-

ible Sex Revolution. This was the sixties. It was almost a porno film.

I'll never forget John Wyatt who was very active in the little theater

group in Ft. .yers/Cape Coral. And an interior decorator. We asked them








16
to read it because they could use some extras. He wrote back to me and

said, "The only incredible thing about the incredible Sex Revolution is

that you would think incrediblee enough to do in Cape Coral." Well, it

was just, it never made it. We asked them to leave. So, we almost had

one of the first porno films which would be exactly opposite of what we

were trying to promote. What else failed? We didn't have many failures.

And here again, this is all group participation. I just had a little

part to play in the thing.

D--Who else was in on the developing,the promotional things?

B--Well, at Cape Coral and Golden Gate would be Dick Sayers in the news bureau,

and his girl, Paul Sanborne, and myself, Connie Mack. And then the crew

out of Baltimore: Bernice Freiburg, Paul Venzi. Eileen Bernard here.

That would be the people involved. It was a fun time for being in a corpor-

ation. You were almost your own boss, until you did something crazy. They

encouraged us.

D--So, you said it was a fun time and just a lot of stuff going on all the

time. How many hours a week would you say you were working?

B--It was not a nine to five job, obviously. What had to be done, had to be

done. But I just spent like nine or ten years of not watching my son

grow up and luckily I got fired.

D--So, you travelled quite a bit?

B--Oh, yeah. We went overseas and all over the United States. As we got

more on Rio Rico, I went to Arizona. But mostly, New York, Baltimore.

D--Would you say you were out of town one day a week?

B--At least.

D--Well, a question that's just totally unrelated to all of this, I know

you weren't involved with the financing of the corporation and every-

thing, but who besides Leonard Rosen, who obviously can't tell as much

right now would know how the financing for the corporation was put

together?






17

B--Probably your best bet would be Charles Hepner. He was executive vice

president. He stayed on with being president under GAC. And then let

go, about seven of us. But he would probably have the best insight

into that. I'm trying to think of who else on our Board of Directors,

that's still living. I think Hepner would be your best bet. He lives

in south Miami. Charles K. Hepner.

D--I have an appointment set up with him.

B--He's been out in Las Vegas.

D--I wrote him a letter and he called me back and said he was very inter-

ested to do an interview. So, I'm meeting with him on the second or

third of January, I believe.

B--In Florida, at his home?

D--Yes. What about Joe Maddlone?

B--Joe Maddlone was secretary for the corporation. H.e got involved some-

what in financing. Charlie will be your source there.

D--I think that's all my questions. I think that covers the waterfront.

Thanks.

You were saying something about the Breeze. When did you take over?

You purchased the Breeze?

B--Yes. Dick Crawford was a Gulf American employee in charge of community

relations before I arrived. And he and his first wife, Sally, put out a

mimeographed publication every month or maybe more frequently, what's going

on, what's coming up in town. It was very interesting and it was called

the Gulf Breeze, I think. For the residents to keep informed. They did

well at it. And then, around the early part of '62 he decided that he would

leave a permanent relationship with Gulf American and stay on as a consultant.

And he would take people fishing for us and he was one of the early men

here at Cape Coral so he could talk with some authority about what was

going on. And then he left Gulf American and started the Breeze.





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