Thursday, February 28, 2008
I think my readers know me well enough to know that I don't suck up to big time bloggers, so this post is not an attempt to suck up to Glenn Reynolds. It is inspired instead by the remarkably ignorant email from some NYC dweller he posted regarding Tennessee. I just thought I would relate my brief exposure to Tennessee, though this comes from quite a while ago when I was in practice.
My firm was representing a small manufacturing company that made extremely high quality balls and rollers in a small town in eastern Tennessee. This bearings competed very well with Japanese parts which (this was the '80s) were supposed to be taking over the world. We were doing a leveraged restructuring of the company that was going to make quite a few of the employees rich. The founder was already rich, but he was going to get richer. So for due diligence and then to close the deal, we slick DC lawyers flew down to Tennessee to see what was what.
Because Tennessee is a model business corporation act state, I was able to devise a much simpler, even elegant way to do the transaction, than the partners of my firm had in mind, a feat for which I got, as far as I could tell, no credit at all.
So, some impressions. The factory was an interesting place, combing the latest technology with old pickups parked in front. Some old machines with computerized gizmos strapped on to them. But out of the end came these beautiful high precision bearings.
The people were very nice and no dummies, as their impending wealth helped confirm. It was fun to watch $5 million drop into the savings account of the hard-working CFO. His savings account was the only account he had for us to drop the money into. When I checked in with him a year later and asked him how being rich was working out for him, he allowed that he had bought a new refrigerator.
The country side was very beautiful. It looked like the Shire. In some restaurant where the locals told me to eat, I had something like a food-related orgasm. It was some sort of barbecue thing I think, a great pile of meat slivers with some sauce that made the fat-loving part of my brain weep for joy. Trust me on this. I noticed the women of this land were lovely and looked at you in a way that made you feel funny, but in a good way. You don't get a lot of that in New York.
There are probably a lot of places in the US like this, but there are also plenty of places I would pay money not to have to go back to, but no point offending anybody by naming them. Every devil loves the marsh where he was born.