Wednesday, March 25, 2009


By : Mr. T. Garnett Bonds, M.A., Concerned Citizen and Member of the South Philadelphia Property Improvement Association

In life, we must cultivate enthusiasms. Without them, life becomes bland and unexciting. When we embrace our enthusiasms, life takes on a new vibrancy. Our enthusiasms express our personalities. Through them, we tell the world what we enjoy. In them, we experience our happiest moments. By them, others remember us. Men remember Cal Ripken, Jr. for his boundless enthusiasm about baseball. He just loved taking the field every day; you could feel it. That enthusiasm expressed his personality and others could see how much he enjoyed baseball. Put simply, when we live for our enthusiasms, we live full, enjoyable, memorable lives.

Enthusiasm makes us interesting people. Enthusiasm arouses our passions. Others can sense our energy when we are enthusiastic. It does not matter whether you are enthusiastic about model airplanes, skydiving, ornithology or swimming. You can be enthusiastic about anything. When you talk about your enthusiasms, your spirit brightens, you smile and people find you interesting. It is fun to talk to interesting people, and enthusiastic people are always interesting.

I am an interesting person because I have many interests in property. I am enthusiastic about property—and it shows. I am enthusiastic about the Pine Row Shopping Center on Route 45 in Camden because I own it. It brings in $56,000 per month in rent, and that makes me enthusiastic. I am also enthusiastic about my YouFirst™ HMO derivative portfolio because I own a diversified array of debentures, long-term notes, bonds, securities, account entitlements and other valuable commercial instruments. Even in the darkest economic climate, my derivative portfolio keeps on paying, and that makes me enthusiastic. When I talk about third quarter profits, my spirit brightens and I smile a lot. I think good thoughts because I see cash coming in. How can you not be enthusiastic about cash flow? When I talk about my property, I show that I am an interesting person. After all, I have many interests in property.

It is important to have interests. Interests give us enthusiasm. Some people are interested in art. Others are interested in classic cars. Still others are interested in new local restaurants and bowling alleys. I, however, have other interests, specifically, interests in property. I have a 45% interest in the popular Cold Water Pub in downtown Philadelphia. I also have 55% interest in Malden-Meyer Waste Management Associates, Inc. I have a controlling interest in a family-owned mortgage brokerage house in Fall Grove, Pennsylvania, and I own two 2008 Cadillac Escalades outright. All these interests combine to make me an interesting person. How can I not be interesting if I have this many interests? The way I see it, if you have a lot of interests in property, you are an interesting person. And if you have interests, you are enthusiastic.

My interests make me enthusiastic. When I heard that my 33% interest in the South Philly Raptors Baseball team yielded a $4,000,000 post-tax profit in 2007, I felt very enthusiastic. I wanted to call out for joy. This example proves that interests lead to enthusiasm. Furthermore, interesting people experience more enthusiasm than people without interests. True, there are interesting people without property interests, but they are not as enthusiastic or as interesting as people with diverse property interests. A 15-year-old high school student with long hair and a tye dye shirt may pass for “interesting” at Prescott Preparatory School in West Twining, New Jersey, but a 56-year-old investor with numerous interests in coal futures and real estate here in the Philadelphia area is a much more interesting person. It is all about interests: If you have more of them, you are more interesting.

Consider me. I have many different interests. I told you about my business interests and my interest in the local South Philly Baseball team. But I also have many interests in land. I have contingent remainder interests in several plots in Garfield Park, plus a vested nondefeasible fee tail interest in my mother’s 45-acre plot in Harbury Heights. I have a fee simple interest subject to a right of entry at 2365 James Road in Emden, while I have a springing fee simple determinable interest in my father-in-law’s house at 54 Granite Drive in Far Tawnygrass, Delaware. Beyond my real estate interests, I have many security interests. I have perfected interests in $3,000,000 worth of chattel paper held by one Mr. Francis G. McCormick, Esq. of Chicago, Illinois. I also have a perfected, registered interest in all the inventory of the Mack Sporting Goods Store in East Butterfield. Additionally, I am happy to hold an imperfected general security interest in all household goods possessed by Mr. and Mrs. Tom Franklin Sr. of New Falkirk, Maryland. If these folks default, I have a right to seize their fee simple interests and make them my own. When that happens, I will have even more interests in property than I do now. And when I have more interests, I become a more interesting person. How can I not be enthusiastic when I think about that?

Some say that I am not very interesting. They say that I am a cash-grubbing ornery old skinflint who only thinks about money. They say I stay at home all day and make angry telephone calls to lenders, debtors, lienholders and shareholders. They say I never go to the movies and prefer to just eat steak dinners with my sometime wife. They say I have no hobbies and stare at my bank balance all the time.

These complaints are exaggerated. My detractors do not know what it means to be enthusiastic or interesting. In my opinion, you cannot be interesting without interests. I have far more interests than my detractors, so that makes me more interesting than they are. And only interesting people can be truly enthusiastic. If you are more interesting, that makes you more enthusiastic, so that means I am more enthusiastic than my detractors. They can criticize my lifestyle all they want. I will remain enthusiastic about my interests—and I have a lot of them. I may not sing opera or make amusing videos on You Tube, but I own more stock, land and chattel paper than most people. I have many interests in property, and that makes me an interesting person.

We all have a right to pursue our interests. Some interests, however, are more valuable than others. A 51% interest in Parking Systems Philadelphia Ltd., for example, is worth $13,129,648.23, while a general interest in Miles Davis is worth nothing but some personalized psychic satisfaction. In my book, it is much easier to be enthusiastic about $13,129,648.23 than some trumpet squeals from the 1950s. I am enthusiastic about my interests. I have a lot of them. That makes me a very interesting person.

I am sure you would like to meet me. I would love to speak with you about my interests. You will sense my enthusiasm when I do. Did I tell you about my 67% interest in the North Brighton Dairy Farm? There is nothing better than talking about interests. Who does not love an enthusiastic conversation with an interesting person?

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