Business Plan? Let’s call it that!

Jerry O’Dovero

I’ve  been wintering in the beautiful city of Raleigh North Carolina. I don’t want to die, so I decided to stay in a motel. I’m not going to mention the name of this lovely place, but I’m happy to say I have the cock roachproblem under control. As for the bed bugs? That’s a horse of another color. The elevator quit working 2 months? Ago. I ran out of bed bug spray and bed bug powder. Those little bastards came back pissed as hell, with blood in their eyes and on a mission to make me pay for my sins.

Raleigh North Carolina? This town has an NHL hockey team. Just like San Jose. To be honest with you, I have yet to wander around to check the town out. I arrived here at the very end of 2020. With the virus out there, and me with no extra money to spend, I’ve been hanging kind of low anyway. Now that its April, and warmer, and more than two hours of daylight during the day, I’d love to be driving around and checking the area out. But, again, I’m on the 2nd floor (with no elevator). But don’t worry about me, once I finish this blog entry, I’ll be checking out and heading North.

OK, todays blog is about, “What I would do if I were running a $150,000,000 empire?”

Now 1st of all, I really don’t know very much about the interworking of the O’Dovero empire. I lived in California for 25 years and the last 14 years of them without much contact. So, my business plan will be more of a macro plan verses a detailed, day-to-day nuts-and-bolts business plan. Actually, two years ago, I tried getting a job working for the family. I gave my brothers and sister a resume and a business plan. It was a simple business plan. For those of you that are new to the story, after graduating from the very good university that I truly enjoyed attending, Northern Michigan University, I went to work for the family empire. I ran the real estate side of the empire. After a little less than 4 years of fun in the sun, and snow, I left Marquette for the land of flakes and quakes, or as some call it, California. That was 25+ years ago. A lot has changed in the O’Dovero empire since I left to live in the land of dreams and fairytales. The most notable is how ??? how do I say this nicely? How divided the family has become. From 2004, when stepsister Connie told everyone in the family, I wanted to murder Peter, to 2018, the family and I stopped talking. I thought they hated me. I had no idea the animosity ran deep throughout the entire family. The family’s $150,000,000 is now basically divided into three (relatively equal) parts. About third is owned and controlled by Peter, the father, and strongly supported by brother Pete and twin sister Jean. Around one third is owned by Lois, the mother, and operated by stepsister Connie, brothers Jim and Joe and supported by 3 other brothers. And the last third, the trust, owned by 9 children, West woods lands owned by 8 children and Midway Rentals owned by 6 children and this one third is operated by stepsister Connie and brothers Jim and Joe. Where am I? I’m one of the 9 with the trust. I might be part of my mother’s one third, but I would not go to Vegas and bet on it. So, I feel I’m an outcast. The black sheep. The forgotten child. I’m not even allowed to offer my opinion on any aspect of the family, or my own circumstances within it. That’s why I decided to give my 2 cents here on my blog. I figure, since no one in the family wants to talk to me like a valued member of the family, I’ll post a business plan of sorts right here on how to run a $150,000,000 empire AND how to fix a broken family. Plus, since no one in the family is interested in hiring me as a consultant, maybe, I’ll open up my own consulting company and sell my ideas to those that would appreciate them. I don’t want to be homeless for the rest of my life. I’d like to have a job and work for my worth. A wiseman once said, “You give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. You tell the O’Dovero family to wake up and do the right thing and I’ll have two houses to live in, a motorhome to travel in and the cash needed to make some of the dreams I’ve had for the past 40 years come true.”

When I left for California all those years ago, the family was talking to each other, going to each other’s camps on the weekends and talking to each other. Then, stepsister Connie started tearing the family apart by making me “the first” Enemy of the State. She convinced the rest of the family to turn their backs on me. Once it’s OK to hate one family member and disown them (me), a civil war between other family members isn’t so hard to get started. And that’s what happened! The family starting to divide and pick sides. I was told, the O’Dovero family had been in the courts suing each other for at least three years prior to my becoming homeless, so that’s nearly six years of suing each other, and counting. It’s still going on, and I haven’t even started, yet! When I start my Lawsuit, which I hope I don’t have too, but guessing I’ll be forced too, it will tie the O’Dovero’s $150,000,000 empire up in the courts for another 5 to 10 years. This is something I knew this from my college days, but I just googled it. It’s a fact that nearly 70% of family-owned empires do not, I repeat, do not survive the 2nd generation. I’m 59 years old. I and most of the 2nd generation O’Dovero family members should be retiring right now. Peter and Lois should be completely retired and wintering in a house in Texas, and enjoying life! They, and this family shouldn’t be fighting in court over $150,000,000 empire, and leaving me homeless for that matter. Shame on the O’Dovero family.

So, the first thing that needs to happen, and it may sound stupidly simple, because it is, the family needs to stop fighting, especially in the courts. Now, I don’t know why things are so broken in the family right now. But let’s no go backwards, let’s move forwards and find some peace and happiness. A great way to do that, and resolve my situation as well, would be for both Peter and Lois to sell $5,000,000 of their $50,000,000 estates. Then Peter gives $1,000,000 to four children and $1,000,000 to me, and Lois does the same from her estate. Now it doesn’t need to be all in cash. Some, or most of it can be in undeveloped land. The main focus point should be that both Peter and Lois are finally fulfilling the promise they’ve been telling us children all our lives. That they did not building the empire for themselves, but for us. Lois is 82 years old and Peter will be 86 years old in a few weeks. If we promise not to put them into nursing homes, they should want us kids to manage the empire, the entire empire, without them. The 2nd reason I feel that if Peter and Lois were to give each child a $1,000,000 is it would allow (require) each child to start making financial decisions on monies with several zeros rather than with just with the money from their paychecks. Trust me, your palms become sweaty when you negotiate with someone to build them a $1,000,000 building. Your throat goes dry when you’re sitting at a conference table signing your first 10-year lease agreement for a building you may or may not even have a set of blue prints for. Every government lease I signed didn’t come with blueprints. There’s no turning back once the ink is dry on the lease agreement. And while you’re signing your name, your mind is already thinking about the meeting you’re going to have the next day with a banker for the $800,000 loan you’ll be signing “your” name on as well, so you can build the building that you promised, in writing, with your signature. My last blog I wrote that I was involved in the negotiating with 5 leases of this sort, with loan agreements. Actually, it was 6. I forgot about the Secretary of State building (which was one of the lease agreements that didn’t come with blueprints). The building is now being leased to a chiropractor. How the family lost the lease for the Secretary of State’s building I’ll never understand. Those type of leases (government leases) were money in the bank when I was running things. In my business plan, I’d tear that building down, and not because the doctor called the police on me when I was sleeping in my van behind the building. I just have bigger and better plans for that property, but I’ll get to that later. Back to the $5,000,000. Finally, it’s the best way I can think of for each of the 8 children to audition for the position of leadership in the family empire. Most of the O’Dovero family has never made $1,000,000 business deals. And it’s not their fault. Peter and Lois should have given each of their 9 children $1,000,000 ten to fifteen years ago, so they could prove themselves. I’d be willing to bet the $150,000,000 would be quite a bit bigger than it is now and a hell of a lot more diversified. AND, AND, AND, I’d be willing to bet that us children would be much better friends. So, mom, dad, it’s not too late to “finally” “start”  doing the right thing.

Now, for my business plan to work, a few things need to happen.

First, I believe breaking the empire up into pieces is the wrong thing to do.

I’d like to see all the commercial real estate under one management. Size and economy of scale matters. When I ran the commercial real estate, I created a partnership to do just that. It’s an easy thing to do. And the reason is simple, there is so much under-utilized commercial real estate throughout the family empire. The two places that come to mind right away are the Airport Property and the Midway Industrial Park. Let’s start with the Airport Property, that property is so under-utilized, I cannot believe it. It reminds me of when I started working for Peter back in 1991 when he had his construction company’s secretaries trying to run his commercial real estate. The crew he has now isn’t doing a very good job either. Back in 2019, my first summer living in my van in Marquette, I spent most of my time living in my van on the Airport Property, with my father’s permission, of course. No, we won’t go there today. We’re not looking backwards. First and foremost, I’d get a site plan drawn on the entire property. I’d have it include everything underground as well. Then I’d take a new sheet of paper and lay it out as it should have been done on day one. Over time I’d tear down half to three quarters of those buildings and start over the right way.

Since I lived there all summer in my van, I seen so much scrap metal laying all over the place. I’d offer anyone in the family 25% of the monies they receive for bringing the scrap to a recycling center, plus I’d pay them $20 an hour. Then after the Airport Property was cleaned and had a proper look and feel to it, I’d send them to Midway Industrial Park and then to any and all the other properties that look like scrap yards.

The next thing I’d do is to talk to the owners of the old terminal building at the airport. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but it would be nice to own that property again. I’d be upfront with them and let them know my plans to better utilize the entire property. I’m thinking the best deal would be a land swap. The family owns quite a bit of land all across the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. Maybe a large chunk of land to hunt on, log or just enjoy as is? Maybe land that can be turned into a subdivision? The family owns a construction company. It would be a walk in the park for the family to design a subdivision, get all the zoning, permits, etc. And then build it. All it would take is a one-hour chat. Is it a starter, or a nonstarter, and then go from there?

Once I have a better idea of how I’d better utilize the Airport property, I’d move the construction company and Midway rental there. I was told the construction company owns a complete 2nd concrete batch plant somewhere west of Marquette. Do you know, the original Ready-Mix Company the family owns was bought and started with my stolen insurance money 40+ years ago? I want to say so much more, but I don’t want to lose my train of thought, so I’ll table it for now and come back to it later. So, I’d take the 2nd batch plant and set it up at the Airport. Then, moving the rest of the construction would be nearly seamless. It’s my understanding my brother Pete is now running the construction company. It would be a perfect opportunity for brother Pete to put his stamp on how he wants to run the company. It’s also my understanding that my nephew Rick (twin sister’s Jean’s son) went to college for construction management? I thought I heard that somewhere? I’d get him and brother Pete in the same room. And on another note, nephew Jimmy (brother Jim’s son) is in the construction field. Brother Pete is 60 years old. How long does he want to be running the construction company? It would be a perfect time to bring the younger generation into the fold. Brother Pete could be the president and the two nephews named vice presidents.

With the construction company, Midway Rental, Sid Harvey and whoever else is at the Midway Industrial park moved to the Airport, I’d clean the entire Midway Industrial Park property so it’s environmentally clean and ready to go. I’d also turn the huge bedrock hill in the center of the property into crushed road gravel. Do you know that back before the accident I had a building and a fenced in area where I raised rabbits and ducks on top of that huge rock? Ten years from now, with that property flat, cleaned up and better utilized (including the lower yard) I’d bet it would be a $30,000,000+ piece of property. I’ve been away for 25+ years, probably more?

Now, it takes money to make money. I’m fairly sure brother Jim has been bringing the trusts and Lois’s commercial real estate up to a higher standard much like it was when I ran things. I’d see the same is done for Peter’s properties as well. Then I’d do as I did when I ran those properties 30 years ago, I’d borrow as much as I could against every building. That’s how I was able to grow the real estate side of the family empire so fast. And, maintain the properties as A1, first class properties. I’d use that money to purchase as much commercial properties as I could for future development. AND, investments in other ventures the other family members want to take on (after they’ve proven themselves by signing their names on the bottom lines, with their own $1,000,000 first).

It’s getting late and I’m going to call it a night, but before I go, I’d like to add one more thought. When I was sleeping in my van on the airport runway, I noticed there was always a pretty good breeze blowing every day. I’m wondering if it’s possible to place 5 or 6 or more of those giant wind turbines on the property? On one of my nightly tours of the Airport Property before calling it a night, I ran into Peter looking at a new building he was having built (one of the 5 or so that I wouldn’t tear down). He told me the property was 5 miles long. Being an old airport, it made sense. If there is enough wind, I’m thinking 5 or 6 giant turbines could easily fit along the back edge of the property. What kind of tax breaks could you get if you had them on your property? I’m thinking I wouldn’t even need to do a thing other than contacting a company that is in the business of leasing people’s land and building wind turbines on them? A day or two of work and $500,000 of income a year from leasing the land? Land that has been cleaned up and all the scrap hauled away?

Like most of my blog entries and long-winded letters, I’m writing this over several days, or maybe even weeks. I found out yesterday that the elevator has finally been repaired, and it’s my birthday tomorrow. So, when you read my blog, please forgive me if my writing is a little unorganized, or scatter-brained? It is, or I should say, I am. Even though my business card says I’m a “Professional,” I’m not really a professional. But don’t tell anyone. I am pretending to be one.

Let’s, see? What’s today’s story? When I was lying in a hospital bed last summer for four months, my roommates liked watching the news. I never watch the news. The only news I’ll watch is the financial channel. But the nice guy I am, I watched the news with my roommates. I’m not sure if you know this, but there is a deadly virus out there killing people. I know there is a lot of people out there that do not believe it’s real. I don’t want to get into that argument today. But real or not, it gave me an idea. If I was running a $150,000,000 empire, I would start up a distribution center for the family to safely shop at. I’d take an empty building like 106 Coles drive and gut it out. I’d then fill the building up with shelving. Then I’d fill the shelves with things the family needs or uses on a regular bases. I’d start off with dry goods and can goods. Then keep adding to the stock of items the place offers until it’s a one stop shop for most everything the family needs and uses. By buying in bulk, the cost of everything drops by several factors. I’m thinking Paul and his wife, Jennifer, would be ideal candidates to run it. I think Paul could become a wonderful butcher. Jennifer could do the ordering and maintaining the inventory. I’m not talking just food. A family the size of the O’Dovero’s? how many computers and tablets does the family buy a year? How many do the business’ buy? How much toothpaste? Batteries? Office supplies? Soda? Water? Chips? Ice cream? Beer? Add a gas pump on a property that’s zoned for it? OK, I can already hear 40+ voices telling me it’s a stupid idea.

If it was just a distribution center to keep the family from having to shop at stores with the those that won’t wear a mask, wash their hands and get the vaccine shot, I wouldn’t argue. But I’ll give you three reasons why I think it is something to think about. One more thing before I go any further. A lot of my ideas I throw out with the bath water before I give them a second thought. So, I wouldn’t take it personal if this idea didn’t gain any traction. I’ll come up with a new idea tomorrow, and another new idea next week. I’ve got an idea on how to become the largest door manufacture in the world.

The main reason I like the idea of a distribution center is “money.” Or the distribution of “money” to be more exact. The trust owns the distribution center and all the goodies inside (and the gas station.) The trust issues each family member a trust card. No one in the family has to spend a penny on the basics needs to survive. You fill up boxes with your goods and supplies and top off your cars gas tank and swipe your trust card. You’re buying everything at cost and the trust simply charges your distribution account. The family members, that are not rich and famous, like me, do not have wait until Christmas to benefit from the trust. And, we can feel somewhat certain that the can of soup we are grabbing off the shelf hasn’t been touched by 700 people that are infected with God knows what before we bring it home to our families.

Reason number 2. Brother Jim gave me this idea. Create a rewards card and issue it every employee that works for the O’Dovero empire. When the distribution center is up and running with an inventory of 50 items? 100 items? Who knows? Do you know where Apple was started? How about Amazon or the dozens of other billion-dollar companies that you and everyone else knows the names of? In a garage! Once we get the distribution center up and running, we turn it into a CO-OP. with a CO-OP card, everyone with a  CO-OP/rewards card can buy things at 10% over cost, or some type of major discount. And gasoline, a 10 cents discount by simply swiping your CO-OP/rewards card. Which brings up a new idea. Buy or build a gas station with a convenience store upfront and the distribution CO-OP in the rear. There is a gas station near Menards that might be a candidate. Guess how many stores Walmart started with?

It’s getting late and I cannot think of the third reason, but I want to add this while I’m thinking about it. I feel it should be the most important business attitude the family lives by. Buy local, shop local and develop partnerships with people and business in Marquette county. Do not be like a Walmart, Lowes or any of the other big box stores that runs the small local business out of business. I’d say, do just the opposite. Find a gas station that needs help, and give the current owners shares in the new venture and hopefully they stick around and manage it. Just the family alone buying all their gas, soda, chips, beer at a gas station could help a struggling gas station. Add to that, all the family-owned business filling up their vehicles there? Then add on just 20% of the CO-OP/rewards card holders?

Now that I think about it, start with the gas station and work backwards before adding the distribution center/CO-OP. It’s bedtime. Goodnight!

I’m back. It’s a few days after my birthday. I had a good birthday. Besides a few friends calling me to wish me a happy birthday, I received calls from sister-in-law Laurie, twin sister Jean and brother Jim. And brother John called me two days later. It’s been a very long time since any family has called me on my birthday, so I had a good birthday. Ops. Nephew Jimmy called me two years ago. It was a day after my birthday. I was just happy to receive the call, so I didn’t correct him.

What would I do if I were running a $150,000,000 empire? I’ve always wanted an apple orchard. I think a teacher read Johnny Appleseed to the class. It was one of those things that became stuck in my head. Why doesn’t everyone plant an apple tree in their yard? Me? I think big, I want to plant an apple orchard. Peter bought land all over the Upper Peninsula. It’s my understanding he’s been logging quite a bit of it. I doubt if many or any of the family has ever seen any of it. I’d use the family money to buy each family a top-of-the-line side-by-side four-wheeler. Then over time, plan family outing to view the properties. Show the family what we own. But also create a log of what the property has on it. Has it been logged? Does it have hard wood? Soft wood? Water? Flat or with hills? When my parents give us the $1,000,000 each, some of us might want land. Anyone that wants land should have first choice. Then after that, I’m a big believer in planting trees. I’d contact a forester(s) and find out what type of trees we should plant. Could you imagine us planting 1,000 acres or more of apple trees? Lower Michigan is big on apple trees. Find out what type of apple trees and cherry trees are the big money makers down state? I’m not a forester, and I don’t play one on TV, but if I had to guess, softwood would be the best choice for most of the land that’s been logged. I believe you can harvest softwood in 20 years and hardwood in 40? But don’t quote me on that. Again, talk to those in the forestry business and learn as much as you can about it. If nothing else, it will help better understand the value of land for when you’re buying and selling it.

I was just thinking. Why just trees? Why not acres upon acres of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and so on? I’d love to see it for personal use, but could you make a business from it? You could sell the fresh fruit at the distribution center.

Another thing I’d like to do with 1,000+ acres of land is to create a hunting preserve. I’d fence in 1,000+ acres of land and stock it with game animals. I’d talk to the DNR and others in the know and find out what kind of game animals are compatible with each other. Maybe stock it with partridge and wild turkeys as well. Hopefully the family owns a large track of suitable land with a lake on it. I’d put up a windmill or solar panels to power electric water pumps to create marsh land for waterfowl. I’d build a $1,000,000+ lodge on it. I’d go first class on everything. Then I’d sell memberships. I’d put a limit of 25 members and sell them for $10,000 each. The numbers may vary, but the main purpose of the lodge is to be exclusive. I’d hire my ex-brother-in-law, Mark, to run the kitchen. A member could shoot an elk, buffalo or some exotic game on a special hunt and then be served the meat a few days later in a modern-day feast that would rival those of antiquity. An event that could happen 25 times a year. Stock the lodge with a wine and liquor cabinet that the average person would have to work six months or longer to afford. Have a gun range, skeet shooting and fishing. Again, the purpose is to be excusive. Why? Money makes money. 25 of the richest people from the area members of an exclusive club discussing business ideas?

Oh, I’d also plant a 40+ acre orchard of every tree, plant and bush that would bear some type fruit or nut or just cool to see. Even if I don’t get the lodge built, I’m going to do it, somewhere, someplace, somehow. Why? Because it’s my dream to do it!

OK, it’s new day, so that must mean another business idea for the O’Dovero empire. Have you ever gone charter fishing or sailing? Why not look into the possibility of one or both of them? Let’s start with charter fishing. I’ve been in California for a long time, so I have no idea what’s available in the Marquette area. But in California, I took my brother Paul charter fishing when he lived with me for five years. We didn’t catch anything that day, but it was a good time. Then when I drove a motorhome to Alaska, I went charter fishing up there. That time a had good luck fishing. I was the first one on the boat to catch my limit. Charter fishing is a wonderful way of spending the day out on the water. Plus, you get to eat what you catch. And bring a six-pack. It actually helps you avoid becoming seasick. How to make charter fishing work? I’d look for a local that’s ran a charter boat in the past. Offer him/her 25% of the company and then buy a boat and outfit it with all the latest gear on the market. To get the word out there that you have a charter boat, everyone in the family takes their friends fishing and post it all over the internet. Remember the rewards card? Once a month, or so, give one, or some of the employees a free day fishing. And of course, advertise on the TV, radio and social media. And again, it’s a great place to talk business with clients.

On the sailing side of things, I had a buddy (Kip) in San Jose that loved to sail. His brother (Ed) owns a sailboat, so Kip spent a lot of time on the water. Ed sailboat is moored at the South Beach Yacht Club (SBYC). It’s a private club, which I’m guessing most yacht clubs are, so don’t think you can crash it. I’ve crashed more exclusive clubs than the SBYC before, so I wasn’t worried if I couldn’t get in. As luck would have it, I didn’t have to crash it. Ed invited me as a guest. The members of the club are the nicest people in the world. I’d love to have a sailboat moored there. But again, as luck would have it, I didn’t need a million-dollar sailboat to be allowed to regularly visit the club. All I had to do was to join an organization called, the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS). Now that was fun! One summer (2013) when probably the most prestigious yacht race in the world was going on in the San Francisco Bay, the Americas Cup, I was sailing on a sailboat on the San Francisco Bay for 3 of the 9 races. That was the year when the Oracle Team USA was down 1 win to New Zealand’s 8 wins. Needing to win 8 races in a row, Oracle Team USA, some-how pulled it off, and I was there on a sailboat to watch it happen for 3 of the races. Fast forward to today, if I was running a $150,000,000 empire, I’d look into buying a sailboat and starting a charter sailing business. It would have to be big enough to be able to handle the Great Lakes for 5 to 6 months out of the year and then winter, charter down in the Caribbean. Of course, this boat and the fishing boat would have to be wheelchair friendly. Rather than sue each other like the family has been doing for the past five years, I’d look for ways to bring the family back together and make money at the same time.

One thing I enjoyed doing, along with others in the family and quite a few of the good people living in the beautiful, unspoiled wilderness we call, the UP (Upper Peninsula) is 4-wheeling. Two of my brothers, Pete and John took their FJ40 Toyota’s and made them into beautiful half-cab rugged 4-wheelers with flip front ends like you see on a diesel truck. The hood, fenders and grill are all attached together and hinged at the bottom of the grill. After unleashing 2 tiedown straps, the entire front body flips forward. That gives you access to the entire motor and front suspension. I’d like to see either or both of my brothers running a company  that builds those 4-wheel drive Toyotas. Brother Pete’s Toyota had a 327 V-8 Chevy motor in his. I’d like to see them use Chevrolet’s LS crate motors. The Toyotas come with leaf springs, but I’d like to see them take them off and use some type of trailing arm or 4-link suspension with coilover adjustable shocks. There are probably a dozen companies that make those type of suspension kits for Jeeps. I can picture building one of these 4-wheelers and letting a 16-year-old nephew racing it at both the Crandon and Bark River Off Road Races. After he finishes 4th in class, his girlfriend hoses the mud off the truck, adjusts the shocks to street use and drives my nephew home. If my 16-year-old nephew doesn’t have a girlfriend, then maybe a niece who comes in 2nd in the race has her boyfriend wash the truck off, adjust the shocks and drives her home. Of course, the truck would have a built-in winch, leather interior, A/C, top of the line sound systems and all the bells and whistles you’d expect on a $60,000+ 4-wheel-drive truck. Now that I think about it, I’m guessing there must be a fleet of surplus H1 4-wheel-drive trucks from the Army. Buy them cheap, put a leather interior with all the bells and whistles and sell them with the Toyotas. Add Jeeps to it and have the largest purpose built 4-wheeldrive dealership. The most important thing would be to build top of the line quality trucks that preform as well as they look. Build them to last, build them to look great, build them to win races, and then sell them to rich people at the Mecum’s Auction and Hollywood movie stars that never take them off the blacktop. Maybe hire a film crew and turn it into one of those shows you see on the Motor Trend channel on Sunday mornings.

Have you heard of that reality TV show called, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians?” There’s one way to have all my hairbrained ideas be successful is to create a show of our own called, “Hanging Out with the O’Dovero’s.” The $150,000,000 empire would be a $300,000,000 to $500,000,000 in 5 years if that were to happen.

No! That’s not my dream, but it’s a big family. Maybe it’s someone else’s?

OK. It’s another day. Time for another hairbrained idea.

Nothing is popping into my head. I better finish my morning can of Mt. Dew and a watered-down café Latte drink from my Keurig K-cup machine.

OK. When all else fails. How about an idea that might just be realistic? Now, before I get started, I’d really should do some research on parking requirements, and I’m just not sure while sitting in a fleabag motel in Raleigh North Carolina, so I’m going to throw a few ideas out there and see what sticks to the wall. Being homeless for close to 3 years now, I think the O’Dovero family should own a hotel. And a restaurant. If we go with a franchise type of restaurant, like an Outback or a Texas Roadhouse, then it would need to be a standalone. So, I’d build it on O’Dovero drive property along the highway. That way you would get customers that are driving by and just hungry stopping to eat. Plus, having a national chain restaurant you’d benefit from national advertising. If I were to go with a top-of-the-line type steak restaurant, which I’d like to consider, then I’d do a study on combing the restaurant and hotel together. I’d do a study on putting the restaurant on either the ground floor or the top floor. I think the ground floor might work best, if you wanted to utilize the top floor for a pool, sauna and banquet hall. On the top floor, you could enclose the floor with glass walls and a glass roof. To turn the pool into a banquet hall, have a motorized floor cover the pool. Maybe see if you can have part of the glass roof retractable as well? Could you imagine having your daughter’s wedding reception at the prestigious Rooftop Banquet Hall? Actually, I wouldn’t name it. I’d have a contest within the family to name new businesses, properties, partnerships, etc. There’s what? 40 members of the O’Dovero family? I don’t want to lose my train of thought, so let’s call it 40. I’d have a contest for every member of the family, young and old alike, to submit a name for each new venture. The winner receives a $1,000. As for the restaurant, I’d offer the best steaks available. I think Kobe steaks are at or near the top. Remember the rewards card? Everyone with a rewards card gets 20% off their meals. In between the restaurant and the top floor, I’d have two floors with hotel rooms. Since I’ve been living in flea bag hotels lately, I’d set them up with business clients in mind. I’d layout the rooms (suites) more like 2-bedroom apartments, with doors for each bedroom. I’d have each bedroom with their own bathrooms. Actually, the master suite with a private bathroom and a common bathroom for the suite. The suite should have a kitchen that is stocked with pots, pans, dishes, silverware and all the basics, like towels, dish soap, etc. Now, if we have the distribution center, allow the client to order items and deliver them, at a good profit. Or make a deal with Econo foods for the same type of service. The suite should also include one of those all-in-one color laser office machines along with high-speed internet. Of course, the price will be quite a bit higher than every other hotel room in town, but it should be. It would be 1st class that would be 2nd to none.

OK I’m back from a dinner break. This is an idea that I’d like to do with my personal money the family gives me when they come to their senses and realize they want me as an ally rather than an enemy. The family crossed the Rubicon and I’m still fuckin homeless. Shit. I didn’t want to go there. I’m going to get a can of Mt. Dew. I shouldn’t have one this time of night, but now I’m fucking pissed. Come September, it will be my 3rd  full year of being homeless. September 15th will be the 4 year of being left homeless by a FAMILY that stole my insurance money and now has a $150,000,000 empire. There isn’t a single member of the cold-hearted O’Dovero family that’s innocent. If you’re a spouse or a grandchild, you are just as guilty of turning your back on me and leaving me homeless to die as my mother, father, brothers, twin sister and stepsister.

How much fucking money do you fucking assholes need before you can start caring about me?

The entire O’Dovero family is going to hate me when I arrive in Marquette still homeless!!!

It’s been an hour and  can’t get this anger to go away. I’m going try by telling you what I would do if I had the money. I’d buy a piece of property that will go unnamed and build three houses next to each other to be used as Bed and Breakfasts. I’d build them as 3 story buildings with basements. I’d build them in the turn of the century Victorian style. Of course, they would be barrier-free. I’d even make the elevator look like an afterthought by making it look like a cast iron cage. Each bedroom would have a theme, a gas fireplace and bathroom. Of course, a huge cast iron bathtub. I’d have real hardwood floors, real woodwork and real wood trim. I’d try to use wood logged off of family-owned land. The house I grew up in was built in 1880 and had stained glass windows and real working wooden shutters. I’d love to copy that look. Truthfully, I’d love to own that house.

I’m trying, but I cannot get my mind to concentrate, so I’m calling it a night.

I’m sorry about my language last night. My personally has changed since I’ve been homeless.

It’s a new day and I’m starting to wonder if I’m wasting my time writing this business plan? As far as I know, no one in the family has ever written a business plan. Can you believe that? $150,000,000 empire and no one has a plan on what to do with it? They have no problem hiring Lawyers and suing each other. At the last trust meeting that I’m aware of, which was a long time ago, stepsister Connie told me with her teeth showing, claws out and blood in her eyes that if I said another word about her in this blog I’d be hearing from her Lawyer. The sad part of it is? The entire family is following her lead down the rabbit hole of disaster. She has never ran a single business in her life that I’m aware of. I’ve never been informed at any of the “literally” handful of meetings in the past 27 years that I’ve been invited to that she has brought any new business to the trust. A trust that she’s been a trustee since day one (30 years). So, has she ever negotiated a 10-year lease, built $1,000,000 building or negotiated $800,000 bank loan for that 10-year lease and $1,000,000 building? Stepsister Connie, I’ll be in Marquette in a few weeks. I can meet your Lawyer at his/her office so they can serve me the papers? Now if you don’t follow through on your promise/threat, I want the rest of the family to finally ask themselves? Is stepsister Connie all talk and no action? What financial value has stepsister Connie EVER BROUGHT TO THE O’DOVERO FAMILY? Also, you need to ask yourselves? Once mom’s gone, who’s going to stop stepsister Connie from dividing the spoils of war in her favor? Brother’s Jim and Joe? Can you honestly say that you trust her? Can you disagree with her and not worry about suffering her wrath?

I just thought of something? Do you think my stepsister Connie is bipolar?

Now, I’m not like some that will go off half-cocked without offering a solution.

I don’t think you’ll be shocked when I say I feel stepsister Connie should retire from running the trust and Lois’ empire? She’s 65 years old.+/- Now, unlike her and her feelings toward me, I don’t think she should be disowned. I would hope she’d do the right thing for the family and stepdown peacefully. Then my mom should hire her as her personal consultant at a salary of $100,000 per year.

Another family member that showed his teeth, his claws came out and eyes turned blood red was brother Pete. What he said, should be in the trust’s minutes, but stepsister Connie was taking the minutes, so I seriously doubt if his comments towards me made the minutes. I don’t know why brother Pete hates me? It wasn’t always like that. In 1995, I was packing up so I could move to California. Brother Pete offered to store most of my belonging in his basement. Among my collections of framed mirrors, signs, U.S. currency, keepsakes like my high school class ring and other keepsakes that I wanted to store rather than haul around the country with me was half a dozen boxes of paperwork. I don’t know what happened to most of my stuff, but several years ago, brother Pete called me and told me he burned all the boxes containing my paperwork. I didn’t get a warning prior to, just a call after the fact that he did it. At that last trust meeting, brother Pete with his eyes blood red, white fangs exposed and claws ready to tear the flesh from my bones, stated in front of the rest of the brothers, twin sister and stepsister that when he burned all my paperwork without my permission, he burnt a “stack” of uncashed checks. I asked him who wrote and gave me this “stack” of uncashed checks? Brother Pete said he didn’t remember, but wished he wouldn’t have burnt them, so he could show the family the “stack” of uncashed checks.

I’m going to flat out tell you that I never gave brother Pete a box of paperwork containing a single uncashed check. So, there being a “stack” of uncashed checks written to me never happened.

In those boxes of paperwork that brother Pete offered to store in his basement for me that he lit on fire and completely burnt so there was nothing but ashes left did contain several “stacks” of checks that I wrote to various places to pay my bills and were stamped canceled by the banks and returned to me to save for my records.

Brother Pete, do you hate me that much that you would make a whopper of a lie claiming to burn a ”stack” of uncashed checks?

Otherwise, you truly believe that you actually burnt a “stack” of uncashed checks of mine. Since there never was a “stack” of uncashed checks, is this really what you want to be doing? Take on the stress of trying to take over dad’s shoes and run his $50,000,000 empire? You are going to have to read and understand contracts and agreements that are 50 pages, 100 pages long. Something a lot more complex than a stack of checks. Running a $50,000,000 empire is going to attract a lot of bad people that are going to try steal from you by making shady business deals and writing even shadier business contracts where they have you think you’re making millions, but, because the bad people can use crooked deceitful wording in these contracts, you end up losing millions? It’s my understanding it’s already happened to dad lately. It’s my understanding someone conned dad out of a gravel pit for pennies on the dollar. I heard dad was screwed over on a different land deal as well.

Do you know what the joke on Wallstreet is?

The fastest way to create a $1,000,000 empire is to start with a $10,000,000 empire.

Be very careful when signing your name on legal documents. If people are willing to screw over dad, they’re not going to think twice when it comes to screwing you over.

Wouldn’t you be happier if mom and dad each sold $5,000,000 of their estates and you received $1,000,000 in cash to do whatever you wanted with?

I wouldn’t have a problem if you replaced stepsister Connie as a trustee and I replaced brother Joe. But before that happens, both you and dad would have to drop all your Lawsuits against anyone and everyone in the family. AND, dad would have to comply with all the previous court rulings.

Next, mom and dad should retire and each sign power of attorneys.

Then combine the entire $150,000,000 empire under one management team. The first task the management team should do is to create a mission statement.

A simple example would be something like:

The primary mission of the TEAM is to maintain a portfolio of assets and combined them to work together, grows at a reasonable rate while providing jobs and a steady stream of income to each of the 9 families.

It may sound simple, but how do you know if you’re achieving your goals if you don’t know what they are?

But I’m getting a head of myself. Right now, the O’Dovero empire is being ripped apart because the “old guard” is in the middle of a civil war. The old guard consists of Peter, Lois, brother Pete and stepsister Connie. The only thing that all 4 of them agree on is that I should be disowned and left homeless to die.

Do you think it’s time for all 4 of them retire?

Before I call it a night, I want to give all 6 brothers, twin sister Jean, stepsister Connie and all their families some friendly advice. It’s now a $150,000,000, maybe it’s dropped to a $140,000,000 empire and the family isn’t as friendly to each other as it once was. Mom and dad have allowed suing each other and turning our backs on each other possible. Whereas, in most families it’s taboo. So, each and every one of the 9 families should have its own personal Lawyer. If someone or the family needs a specialty Law Firm to fight a particular cause like a patent dispute, hire a Law Firm that specializes in patent disputes, otherwise the 9 families should have personal Lawyers (some call them pocket Lawyers) to handle their everyday legal needs like; deeds, contracts, agreements, etc. I don’t have one, and I’m not planning on getting one, or a team of Lawyers, unless I’m still homeless when I arrive in Marquette in June. If the family wants to start working with me to make up for the sins of the past, I won’t need one. I know how to read, write and understand deeds, contracts, agreements and most other financial statements and documents. I know the difference between a warranty deed and a quick claim deed without batting an eye. I doubt if there’s anyone in the O’Dovero family, except maybe Paul’s wife that truly knows the difference between the two and when it would be appropriate to use one or the other.

In the next few years, all the members of  this family will be bombarded with legal documents to read and sign. I’m the only member of this family that has read every page of every document and understood every document I was asked to sign. No one else, not even brother Jim can say that.

Please, don’t blindly trust anyone when it comes to signing documents. Please have your own Lawyer review them, so he/she can look after you and your family’s best interests. It will probably cost you $500 per year, maybe less to have your own Lawyer on retainer to protect you.

Do you think my father disowned me? If you think the answer is yes, when do you think it happened? Last month? Last year? 15 years ago? 25 years ago? Or 42 years ago when he seen me paralyzed laying on the hospital bed for the first time?

Do you think my mother disowned me? If you think the answer is yes, when do you think it happened? Last month? Last year? 15 years ago? 25 years ago? Or 42 years ago when she seen me paralyzed laying on the hospital bed for the first time?

Do you think my brothers, twin sister, stepsister and their families disowned me? If you think the answer is yes, when do you think it happened? Last month? Last year? 15 years ago? 25 years ago? Or 42 years ago when they see me paralyzed laying on the hospital bed for the first time?

When I was 16 years old, I bought a $1,000,000 insurance policy on my new 1979 Ford pickup. My monthly insurance payments were more than the monthly bank payments on my brand-new truck. Just days after I came home from the spinal cord hospital after the accident that was inches away from killing me and left me paralyzed from the chest down, there was a $700,000 tax-free check waiting for me. My father made me pay him and my mother $100,000 each, then stole the rest. My father invested the money in the construction company and real estate for himself, my mother and the family. My mother, brothers, twin sister and stepsister knew what he did and said nothing. It’s now 40+ years later and the O’Dovero family empire is now worth $150,000,000, or maybe now down to a $140,000,000. Add to that, I’m homeless (for nearly 3 full years). And the sad part of it is, anyone and everyone in the O’Dovero family that wants a job can have a job in the O’Dovero empire except me. Since I’ve been homeless, I’ve asked my mother, my father, my brothers and my stepsister for a job and they won’t hire me. Why?

Do you think the O’Dovero family is discriminating against me financially because I have a physical disability? Do you think the O’Dovero family won’t hire me because I have a physical disability? If you think the answer is yes, when do you think it started? Last month? Last year? 15 years ago? 25 years ago? Or 42 years ago when they see me laying in the hospital bed paralyzed?

If I’m still homeless when I arrive in Marquette in June, the telephones in a few Law offices will start ringing. I doubt if any member in the O’Dovero family is going to like me. The entire O’Dovero family will feel like I’m crossing the Rubicon river.

I took a few days off. I never used to get angry or feel hatred. But I’m still homeless. It will be 3 full years of being homeless soon. When I was 17 years old, I was given a check from my insurance company for $700,000 so I could build the house of my dreams. I don’t feel I should have to settle for anything less. Actually, $700,000 in 1980 could have built me two houses of my dreams, and also invested so I would still have a decent monthly income. Being homeless has taken a toll on me. In the past, I’d never let these terrible feelings get started. Now, I can’t stop it once it gets started, and sometimes it takes days for me to stop those horrible feelings.

I am not going to live in the basement of my mother’s rental house! And, I don’t feel I should have to live in an apartment. I did that for 25 years while living in California.

I’m back. It was my dad’s birthday two days ago. The prior two years I called him in his birthday. 25+ years ago I was so hurt by his betrayal, I moved away from Marquette and stopped talking to him. But after 14 years of the family not talking to me …. . So, when Joe and Jim called me up, I decided to give everyone in the family a chance, even my father. I would have called my father on his birthday this year, but I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t sleeping. I can’t do four to six hours of sleep anymore with anemic blood, so I’ve been trying to sleep for eight hours a night. For several days I wasn’t getting enough sleep, so I took a break from everything and slept. It wasn’t personal that I didn’t call. I just needed sleep so the stress and the anger would go away.

Oh crap! It’s 11 pm. My plan is to leave here (North Carolina) on Tuesday morning, so today I did laundry and  a Walmart run. You wouldn’t believe the luck I have. Mice, yes mice made a nest in the mattress in my van. This mattress has mold on it because the van roof leaks, so I was planning on getting a new mattress anyway. I had a busy day. I just didn’t realize it was so late. I’ve had so much sleep the past few days I’m just not tired. I’m crawling into bed anyway. I want to post this business plan before Tuesday, so I’ll be back at it tomorrow or Saturday. Goodnight.

I left Raleigh North Carolina a week ago. I’m now in Fond du Lac Wisconsin. I was hoping to post this part of the business plan before leaving Raleigh. Oh well. The drive was pleasant. I averaged only 250 miles a day, on purpose. My luck hasn’t been much better. The van’s roof leaks, but only when it rains, and it’s been raining. The good news is the elevator at the motel was working when I checked out. The bad news is the electric motor on the van door stopped working. It doesn’t like getting wet then an electrical current running through it. I had the maintenance man at the motel disconnect the drive chain so I could get inside the van to load it and leave. With the drive chain disconnected, the sliding door on the van will open, but it doesn’t stay closed. To keep the door closed while I drove, and slept in the van, I used three bungee cords. They worked, but the dome light was on as much as it was off. But I made it.

I think I’m going to post this now and then work on my Business Plan Part Two. I need to give you something to read, then talk about with your family, your friends, your priest, your dealer! Just kidding. Wait! The dealer is, OK?

The dealer, for a nickel Lord

He’ll sell you lots of sweet dreams

Ah, but the pusher’ll ruin your body

Lord he’ll leave… he’ll leave your mind to scream

God damn ahh God damn the pusher.

God damn, God damn the pusher.

It looks like I have a new song stuck in my head. The song is called, The Pusher. Sung by the band, Steppenwolf and written by Hoyt Axton. Mr. Axton also wrote the happy-go-lucky song, Joy to the World, the No-No Song and Never Been to Spain.

Mr. Axton also played the father of the boy (Billy) in the movie Gremlins. I can still picture the snow in the beginning of that movie. The snow was so perfect.

I might just have to listen to Steppenwolf’s greatest hits while I take care of some business.

I hope it doesn’t take me a month to write “Business Plan for a Family With a $150,000,000/$140,000,000 Empire. I’m going to start calling it a $140,000,000 empire.

This is just a guess, but I’m thinking my father’s third of the empire isn’t doing so well. That’s why he’s suing the rest of the family for money. When I was staying in the flea bag motel in Raleigh, I hooked up a HD antenna and HD TV tuner to my computer. That way I could watch HD TV in my motel room. If you have a HD TV with a HD antenna, you too can watch free TV like you did when you were a kid. One of the TV shows I’d record, because it came on at 2am was called Mannix. One day, while watching the show, a TV commercial came on about looking up your ancestry. For the fun of it, I looked up the ancestry of the name, Mannix. It’s an Irish and Gaelic name. Then I decided to look up the Italian spelling of the O’Dovero name. I believe it’s spelt “Oddovero.” I believe my great grandfather Peter O’Dovero dropped the “d” and replaced it with the apostrophe. I asked my grandmother and other elders of the family, but no one seemed to know why he did it. To my surprise, I didn’t find much at all on the Italian version. So, I decided to look up the “O’Dovero” name. Much to my surprise, there was a link to the courts system where (father) Peter E. O’Dovero, (brother) Peter J. O’Dovero and (twin sister) Jean Marie Temple were suing me, the rest of my brothers and stepsister. They were trying to gain control of a life insurance policy I had taken out on Peter E. O’Dovero on behalf of all nine of us children, so we could pay his estate taxes when the time comes, or a later policy the family took out on him I’d guess for the same reason. I didn’t click on the link because I didn’t want to stir up the anger feelings within me. So, I don’t know if it was the life insurance I took out on dad for the family or a later policy. I do know that the policy I, on behalf of the 9 children had 100% of Peter’s consent and us 9 children made the payments. Rather than anger, I felt sad for the three of them. I don’t know what’s going on with Peter “mentally,” but he’s 85 years old and from my chats with him, he’s not the same Peter as I knew him from years ago. I don’t know, but I’m wondering if he has ever been tested for dementia? Brother Pete and twin sister Jean, as far as I know, have never been trained in the art of reading and understanding legal contracts. I blame Peter and Lois for that. All nine children should have been transitioned into leadership roles within the family empire sometime in the past 15 years, if not earlier. To this day, they won’t give up control. I’ve never seen any of the family books since I ran the real estate side of the family empire, but I’ve heard rumors that Peter isn’t making the best decisions. From my recent talks with him, he’s nowhere near the businessman he used to be. I don’t know, but is it possible that Peter is losing it? Then the question is, are brother Pete and twin sister Jean truly capable of running a $50,000,000, now possible a $40,000,000 empire? I’d be scared of losing millions if I were suddenly tossed into the ring and having to sign contracts that I didn’t fully understand. When I took over the real estate side of the empire, I was fortunate to have studied business, accounting, finance and English classes. I know I’m not the best writer, but I do have some grasp of the English language. I couldn’t imagine brother Pete and twin sister Jean reading and truly understanding multi-million-dollar 50-page contracts. It’s not easy. I read them 2 to 3 times so I feel comfortable I understand them. Are they afraid of failure already that they feel the need to sue for more money? Before they even take control? Pete, Jean! For God’s sake. Ask for help from us in the family! Don’t let a $50,000,000 empire turn into a $10,000,000 empire! Or a $5,000,000 empire! OR LESS! What are your plans when the time comes and you get a bill for $20,000,000 for estate taxes? Are either of the two of you talking to banks right now? Could you borrow $5,000,000 or more against dad’s assets right now if you needed too? Do either of the two of you even know what dad owns? Do you know where the titles and the deeds are? Have you read them? Do you know what properties dad has bank loans against? Do you know where that paperwork is? Are those bank loans due in full at the time of his death? Do you know how much he owes? Have you read them? Do you know what properties he owns free and clear? Do you have appraisals on any of those assets? Again, have you talked to the banks about borrowing money against them if you have too? Do you know what contracts dad currently has obligations to? Do you know where they are? Have you read them? Has dad been filing his income taxes? Has he been making his quarterly tax payments? Does he owe back taxes? Does dad even have a will? Have you read it? Do you understand it? What is the very first thing “legally” that you need to do when dad dies? Have you made a list of dad’s business contacts? Do you know who they are? Do you know who you have to, or should, contact (businesswise) 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on the day or soon after he dies? Do you know where all of dad’s money “bank accounts” are? Do you know how much money is in them right now? Do you know the combination to his safe? (The combination is one thing I do know) these are just a few of the questions that would keep me awake at night in I was in his will. But dad told me a couple of times in the past two years that I’m not in his will.

I can tell you, two people that will become very-very rich when dad dies, and their names are not bother Pete and twin sister Jean.

Another week has past and I have so much more of a business plan I want to write about. But I NEED to post this now and work, so I’ll work on the rest later. I’d also like to proof read before posting it, but then it will be another week, so this is what you get. A rough draft.

Now, my main purpose of this portion of my business plan is not to tell you what I’d do if I were running things as much is it’s to tell the 35+/- members of the O’Dovero family that ARE NOT INVOLVED in the leadership of the empire. Quit the manual labor. Use your brain and stop using your back. Would I fight to have all the ideas I wrote about here in this business plan implemented? Probably not! I think they’re all possible, but some maybe a little extreme. But that was my intent. The O’Dovero family has a lot of smart people. If, not if, but when you have a business idea, don’t be afraid to bring it up. Or better yet, use your $1,000,000 and get a business perfected. Then sell it to the trust for a nice profit. The only dumb idea is the one you let someone else have, enjoy and get rich from.