Surviving Ned Johnson

ISBN 10: 0974076902 / ISBN 13: 9780974076904
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Synopsis: Surviving Ned Johnson is an often funny, sometimes sad, but always insightful look into the friendship of two men. One man, arguably one of the most powerful in the world. The other man, Dick Larson, a self-made man who became friends with Ned Johnson for thirty years and expected the friendship to last. What broke them apart in such a way that the two men are now virtual enemies?

About the Author: Biography: Dick Larson

Hardly to the "manor born" I grew up in a marvelous ethnic neighborhood on the Highlands in Lynn Massachusetts. From 1930 to 1947, I attended the public school system through high school at Lynn English, graduating in 1947.

I was a lousy student excepting English Literature, History and Drama, which all took second place to the poolroom. This is where I became proficient in the odd game of three-cushion billiards, a game not played much today.

My school marks were poor, my IQ was high. A rich uncle paid for one year of prep hoping I would shape up - I didn't. On to the University of Oklahoma for one year of nothing but fun and games, except for my mysterious love affair with English Literature and History. I got straight A's and I was billiard champ of the school.

I came back east and entered Tufts University in Medford Massachusetts. I coasted through three semesters up to my junior year, then left in January of 1951 and became a plumber at a small shop owned by my father.

My father was broke, the shop went broke and I had always been broke. Enough. I talked him into leaving and starting another business in Lynn, Massachusetts with me. I met and married Sarah May (my one and only wife) at St. Stephen’s Church. She became pregnant, and we started our first home with our first-born on the top floor of the business which had slanted ceilings. The business grew and we bought a new truck. Life was good.

After ten years of family and business growth, new home, new car, two new kids, the business began to explode. New home in Nahant on the ocean, new Mercedes, new Cadillac, new Prelude, new swimming pool, trips, etc. The business doubled to six hundred people on the payroll. Life was too good.

In 1989, the Bank of New England went under taking a lot of my best clients. I lost three million dollars, cashed in all my assets, paid out all I could, then sold two homes and moved to Brookfield New Hampshire to farm. In 1989, Edward C. "Ned" Johnson, owner of Fidelity Investments, spoke to me in December about coming to Boston to work for him.

Since I had painted the barn three times in five months, I accepted. I stayed five years, retired with honor and moved to Florida. Three months into retirement, Ned and I spoke of taking a year to build a house for him. I accepted, but ended up staying five years spending not one million as agreed, but thirteen million on four houses.

Ned decided at the end that he could not or would not pay what I had earned. We went to court and I lost everything. The Judge stated that although Ned did make all those promises, it was not in writing and I should have known better than to take only his word for it. I left the courtroom saying to myself, "Okay, I'll put it in writing."

And here it is!

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Title: Surviving Ned Johnson
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