While the majority of my recollections are pleasant, there are exceptions. The bankruptcy in December of 1965 of the Jackson Furniture Company was one. Founded by my grandfather in 1889, I became President upon the death of my father. It was I who saw the company close.

A night six days before Christmas in 1965 was one of my most difficult. My daughter, Lindsay, was making her debut. In white tie and tails, I was to introduce her. That evening's newspaper carried a front page story of the bankruptcy. Under the circumstances, I'd have much preferred being anywhere else.

Another father was part of the group. I had nodded briefly to Rudolph Peterson, President of the Bank of America. His bank played a primary role in causing my downfall.

Our basic source of working capital was borrowing against accounts receivable. Over the years, this had been a satisfactory arrangement. In hindsight, we should have also had long-term financing.

The Bank of America abruptly reduced these loans. To compensate for this squeeze on working capital, I sold our buildings with the bank's assurance they'd not further reduce our financing. They agreed; but as soon as the funds from the property sales were on hand, they changed their minds. Now, we were in the same capital bind but without the value of our real estate. As our one friend at the bank confided, they're going to put you out of business. He was correct.

Our threat of a lawsuit to adjudicate what we considered a breach of faith was met by the comment, go ahead and sue. You're broke. How far do you think you can get?

My company stock was now worthless as were minority holdings of our employees. While there was no legal requirement, I personally purchased these shares at face value. I didn't want to see old friends hurt.

The Bank of Tokyo was our other bank. Details of our letters of credit and importing costs for the United States were financed by the San Francisco branch. Their headquarter bank in Tokyo handled our Japanese account.

With the Jackson Furniture Company now out of business, I activated my personal corporation - Pacifica Designs - to hopefully, develop a new business venture.

My problems - would the Bank of Tokyo transfer the Jackson funds to the new corporation and would Takashimaya accept a revised agreement?

With apprehension, I carried documents prepared by my attorney and accountant to Japan hoping I'd be successful.

In Tokyo, my first call was to the bank. I'd made an appointment with an executive I'd known when he was in the San Francisco office. He greeted me pleasantly, suggested we have tea and proceeded to discuss matters of no immediate interest to me. Looking at his watch, he explained he had another appointment waiting. Would I please excuse him?

"But what about all these papers we have to review, and what is your decision on transferring funds to Pacifica Designs?" I asked.

He smiled and answered, "It's all been taken care of. You have no problems and enjoy your visit to Japan."

I left the bank pleased that half of my Japanese assignment had been completed satisfactorily. As I walked the short distance to the Takashimaya Department Store, I wondered if Tetsutaro Iida would be this accommodating.

We met in his osetsushtsu and discussed unrelated subjects for ten or fifteen minutes, as is the Japanese custom. Then, probably sensing my concern, he said, "I'm so sorry to hear of your problems in America. Of course, it will make no difference with our working together."

I was back in business.

The bankruptcy brought about a most pleasant surprise. I'd written a letter to the California College of Arts & Crafts submitting my resignation from the Board of Trustees. Under the circumstances, I considered this a proper action. I didn't attend the meeting when this would be discussed. I received a phone call the following morning from Harry X. Ford, President of the College. Rather than accept my resignation, I had been elected Chairman of the Board, a post I held for many years.