Thursday, April 21, 2016

Alan L. Barer 1929-2016

The writer of this blog, Alan Barer passed away March 18th 2016.  He will be sorely missed!  Please feel free to enjoy the great writing. 
Best Regards
Mike Barer
Alan's son

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hi everyone, a continuation of this blog can be found at  Will I start blogging regularly again?  Who knows?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

From the 1920s, this is B. Barer, the founding partner of B. Barer And Sons, and his wife Risa.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The picture is of a young David Barer taken in a rented location across the street from the more recent location developed by B. Barer.

The picture may have been taken for some sort of promotion probably in the 1920's.

The sign reading Eastern Hide was in line with the custom of the time to put a geographical place in the name. Others being Alaska Junk, Medford Bargain House, Chicago Junk (Yakima, Wa.) and Pacific Hide and Fur.

You might note the name "Barer" in the right hand corner. B. Barer had built a loyal following who were reluctant to deal with the formal sounding Eastern Hide and that name was soon abandoned..

B. Barer suffered from asthma and was away to more asthma friendly climes frequently causing David to drop out of school and manage the business at a very young age.

The rifle is real. As David drove through the deserts of Eastern Washington visiting trappers, he would often see coyotes along the way.

The pelt had a value and there was also a bounty for ridding the area of a predator.

The problem was that the coyote would stare curiously as the vehicle stopped and the marksman prepared the gun but as soon as a round was clicked into the chamber the wary beast was gone.

Friday, June 03, 2011

George Epstein as requested by Mike

It took me awhile to catch on. People often referred to the Epsteins as "your cousins".

Only when I noticed in an old city directory the firm named Barer & Epstein and asked some questions did I find that at the turn of the 20Th century Uncle Ike was married briefly to the matriarch of the Epstein family.

There were three surviving brothers, one died as a result of a childhood game that went awry and ended in tragedy.

They were in the recycling business in direct competition with our family recycling interests but after close of the business day we were friends.

I think the term Shakespeare used was "star crossed".

Louis, the oldest, was an ardent fisherman.

He was with a group of his fishing buddies in an isolated area of the Yukon dragging in the big ones when he apparently suffered a heart attack and was swept away by the swift flowing river that emptied into the Arctic.

The fact that native trackers could not find the body led to rumors that there might be some mystery involved. Even that the disappearance might have been staged. People in his party saw the body with his distinctive jacket being carried away by the wild river and were unable to help him in the wilderness.

Abe and George had a recycling business next door to Louis.

Abe married a nice young woman from Portland.

George remained a bachelor spending his after work hours at his office desk reading a magazine and chatting with passersby or lingering in a diner schmoozing with the waitresses.

He surprised everyone one day. He packed his valise and hopped a train for New York.

In the early days of network radio much of the programming came from New York and George was an avid listener so he knew what to do when he got there.
He attended Yankees games and in those days the "Brooklyn" Dodgers as well as the famous night spots.

What a wonderful adventure for a small town guy. He had stories to tell for years.

In the late 1960's Abe passed away and it was up to George to liquidate the business over a period of a couple of years.

Abe's wife, Violet, had been a proxy mom to George. She was was in a panic to find that after he put a final lock on the business door he disappeared.

No amount of tracing could find him.

Months went by and not a word.

Then the call came.

George, remembering his great time ten years before and telling no one again did the trip to New York.

Only, this time with dire results. On arrival he was mugged, stripped of his money and ID and left in an alley.

He was found by a policeman and shipped off to a hospital ward reserved for derelicts.

An examination revealed throat cancer and necessitated the removal of part of his tongue. For months he lingered in a coma.

As he recovered, he was able to convey the message that he wanted pad and paper.

Violet was contacted and rushed to New York to help him return home.

He lived on for a few years possibly a gift from the people who intended evil but may have saved his life by forcing him to the hospital,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Screamers

The media has been slicing and dicing Paul Allen's book. The spotlight is on passages concerning the tirades o Bill Gates.

Some years ago I belonged to a discussion group sponsored by Bellevue Community College through their senior outreach program.

We met in a building previously used as headquarters for Microsoft.

At one of our meetings a member of the group brought Ross Hunter as a guest speaker. Ross had been an early executive of the company who taken his packet of shares and retired at a very young age to pursue a life of public service.

Ross opened his presentation by wistfully stating that we were sitting in Bill Gates former office.
Steve Balmer had an office at the far end of the hall.

The two never used an intercom to address each other.

As Ross who officed between them would suspend all efforts to concentrate the two would carry on their discussion screaming back and forth across the corridor


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bit once, my fault

As some articles were published on follow up of the Madoff thing, I recalled reading of the 1937 scheme by some senor members of the venerable nationwide pharmaceutical supply firm McKesson Robbins.

Remaining profitable during the depths of the Great Depression a decision was made to expand into Canada.

Several million dollars was "spent" setting up warehouses and sales offices. An additional millions followed for inventory.

An accountant traveling in Canada decided he would visit one of the facilities. He found a rented office with a secretary whose job was to transfer paperwork she received by envelope to envelopes mailed from Canada.

The property, inventory, and $9,000,ooo in receivables were were all part of a scheme.

Following the startling revelation, two new "McKesson standards" were incorporated in accounting audits:

1. All inventory must be physically counted preferably by a disinterested party.

2. Accounts receivable must be documented by confirmations of the owing parties.

Imagine my surprise in refreshing my mind via Internet to find that McKesson was again stung in 1999 when they purchased a company called HBO (not the cable company).

An auditor with Deloitte and Touche made a random call to a customer to confirm a $20,000,000 order.

It was not active.

The auditors found that in anticipation of the sale customers were offered cancelable orders and future orders were booked as in the bank to the tune of millions of dollars.

Bit twice?

What was it our ex president said about trust but verify?