The Dick is dead.....
Nick was working on a new development at the time of his cardiac double fault. Affordable housing in Carmel.....near the golf course, of course. In Monterey County, affordable housing is typically $550,000 mini-mansions packed together elbow-to elbow on toxic bomb disposal dumps next to the freeway. The only small seasoning of reality in this latest project is that one of his partners is my friend John of Tinman Development. John is a normal human being, and is not rapaciously greedy......except in the presence of oysters, smoked salmon or Chianti in straw-wrapped bottles. And, John has both a well-developed sense of humor, and the ability to count all ten fingers after shaking hands with Nick.
All of the remembrances in The Herald this morning made mention of Nick's mellowing as he aged. Hmmm. I think it was an old tiger that bit Roy, people. Anyway it is pretty clear that no local politician or development or land-use person was willing to say anything remotely negative about this dead tiger. And I thought that the applicable Shakespeare quote was ''the evil men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.'' No longer, if recent eulogies of our late homo/condom-phobic pope and now dear Nick represent any kind of trend.
My favorite Nick story was back in the early days. I was giving networking a shot. I joined the Chamber of Commerce, and the Hotel/Restaurant Association. If you want to see an appalling, across-the-board political agenda that is neither the National Rifle Association or the Christian Right....check out the other NRA: the National Restaurant Association. Wow. Anti-recycling, anti-environment, anti-planning, anti-social programs, even anti-food safety. To call them Neanderthals is to malign poor, progressive, eco-friendly, extinct Neanderthals. Bruce McPherson, our former supposedly OK-for-a-Republican senator was a 100% NRA voter.
Anyway, along with the Chamber and the HR, I was also somehow an alternate delegate to the Democratic Convention (this is 1984, Gary Hart...no one noticed that I was a registered Republican), and a member of the Planning Commission advisory board. What was I thinking?
I was on some committee of the HR Association. Nick came up with this plan for Carmel. Basically, he was going to pave the Palo Corona Ranch, put in a giant parking lot, a new golf course, a hotel and restaurant, an old folks home and.......whatever. Then, he was going to close Carmel to all traffic except deliveries, and shuttle people in and out in a fleet of busses. He had architect's models and the whole bit. He was foaming-at-the-mouth excited, and as President of the Hotel Restaurant Association, he presented his plan as a done deal. He asked for comments. There was some ass-kissing from the Sardine Factory crew, and the Hyatt guys.
Then Nick called on me: "Mr. LargeEgo, I just have one question. Sir, what kind of drugs are you on, and where can I buy some?''
That was pretty much it for my networking career. I could see Nick's minions memorizing my face. Luckily my name tag said ''Jimmy Hoffa'', but I don't think it fooled them.....Wait!!! Maybe that is what happened to poor old Jimmy........