Episode 8 – Dead in the hot tub w/ Bill Stallon
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Tim was just a young pup when he met this week’s guest Bill Stallon. The BOMA lunch at the King Eddy was essential for hobnobbing back in the day. That’s where a scrappy new entrant into the construction trade first encountered a well-seasoned, construction veteran named Bill Stallin.
“I was 22 which means you were 42.” Tim tells Bill in this week’s episode.
Bill and Tim became fast friends. But Bill also became Tim’s mentor, a fact that he still doesn’t entirely understand.
“Why’d you let me hang around all the time?”
“Because I couldn’t get rid of you!”
Back then Tim had just struck out on his own and his day consisted of pounding on doors from 7 a.m. until noon, looking for new clients. Then he would find out where Bill was and the pair would commence drinking. The booze wasn’t entirely social. They both used those lunches to harangue old clients or get to know the new ones. One of their regular meeting places was the Matisse Restaurant in the Marriott Hotel. Because it was near the subway there was an open invitation for clients to meet up at 4 p.m. every Thursday. It was a great way to stay in touch with clients but it was also really fun.
“My bills for food and booze were 7 or 8 thousand a month back then,” Tim says.
Business schmoozing is nothing like it used to be. When Tim gets a request for a bid from a company that he doesn’t know he likes to call them up. He asks to take them to lunch and to fill our a credit application. Then they hang-up.
Tim uses the last portion of his conversation with Bill to talk about one of their more memorable adventures together. Tim was given a last minute invitation to join Bill and a group of other industry friends for a ski trip to Beaver Valley. The night consisted of a giant steak dinner followed by a card game. The card game went on until 2 in the morning at which point Tim found himself $10 thousand up. This despite not knowing how to play cards.
The group then retired to the hot tub. Because no one had swim trunks that meant everyone was naked. Not having anything to drink one of the hosts offered a full bottle of XO Cognac. It was 30 below that night so one has to imagine four pasty white construction guys bobbing naked in a steaming hot tub, toques on their heads while getting absolutely shit-faced on cognac.
“My dad used to spill more than I drank,” Bill says in an attempt to explain what happened next.
After drinking the entire bottle Bill was now soundly asleep, happily bobbing in the tub. Tim gently placed his knee under Bill’s head to prevent him from drowning. They also used his exposed stomach and chest as cup holders. It’s now 5 a.m. and Tim declares that it’s time to get Bill out of the hot tub. What followed next was a heroic attempt to move the much larger Bill out of the Tim.
After dragging Bill like a corpse across a frozen threshold they left him in the laundry room. (Covered up for modesty’s sake) The rest of the group made breakfast and went skiing for the day. It was only after returning at 4 p.m. that Bill finally woke up.