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Turtle Tom Shanks on “Boots”

I received an email from Turtle Tom Shanks today that adds more “color” to the story:

This is mainly a clarification of the fourth paragraph on page 33, beginning “Shanks and Svoboda . . .”. This is a fuller account, to the best of my recollection, that you may use any way you see fit:

I first met George [Svoboda] in San Francisco, through Blair Hull. George had a brilliant way of getting right to the core principles of any subject he approached, and he was investigating trading at the time. He quickly learned of Blair’s prominence in the field and flew to San Francisco to meet with him. I was working for Blair (had met him through Blackjack), and Blair knew that George had an extensive blackjack background as well. Since we all had that in common, Blair invited me to join them for lunch. I don’t remember much about that meeting, but a couple of months later Blair sent me to Chicago to research sources of commodity price data that he could add to his Options Research service. During that trip, I ran into a friend of mine named Ron Cohn, whom I had known in San Francisco. I had no idea Ron was working in Chicago; he walked into an office I was in to drop off some keys at the end of a project he was doing for the company, we recognized each other and decided to have dinner that night. I knew George was in Chicago doing more research and I didn’t think he knew anyone socially there so I called George and invited him to join us. We went to a Greek restaurant, I remember, and during the catch-up conversation, I learned that Ron had applied to the first C&D ad that had run the year before, which is the first time either George or I had heard of that opportunity. I returned to San Francisco, looked up the ad in the file of old WSJs we kept, procrastinated for a while and finally applied. After I got the application package, I phoned George to discuss it. In his inimitable way he had cut right to the heart of the matter and told me that he had gone to the library to research RJD to get an idea of how Richard might like to have the questions and essays in the application answered. I thought that was a great idea and did the same in SF. There were 20 interviews granted that year, two a day for two weeks. George and I were scheduled on the same day, he in the morning and I in the afternoon. The rest, as they say…Hope you are well. Best, Tom

PS: In the next paragraph, there is a reference to Dingo boots. There never were any Dingo boots. The boots we used were all made by hand by a Mexican shoemaker in San Francisco. The essence is correct, however: I was tired of boots.

Thanks Tom.

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