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"I was awake one night and turned on my radio, and I heard them announce that Sam Walton was therichest louis vuitton bags man inAmerica. And I thought, 'Sam Walton. Why, he was in my class.' And I got so excited."HELEN WILLIAMS,former history Louis Vuitton Handbags and speech teacher atHickmanHigh SchoolinColumbia,MissouriSuccess has always had its price, I guess, and I learned that lesson the hard way cheap louis vuitton in October of 1985whenForbes magazine named me the so-called "richest man inAmerica." Well, it wasn't too hard toimagine all those find cheap michael kors bag newspaper and TV folks up inNew Yorksaying "Who" and "He lives where" The nextthing we knew, reporters and photographers started http://www.michaelkorsoutlets-mk.com flocking down here to Bentonville, I guess to takepictures of me diving into some swimming pool full of money they Louis Vuitton Handbags outlet imagined I had, or to watch me light bigfat cigars with $100 bills while the hootchy-kootchy girls danced by the Michael Kors handbags outlet stores lake.
I really don't know what they thought, but I wasn't about to cooperate with them. So they found out allthese cheaps michael kors wallets exciting things about me, like: I drove an old pickup truck with cages in the back for my bird dogs,or louis vuitton handbags I wore a Wal-Mart ball cap, or I got my hair cut at the barbershop just off the townsquaresomebody with new balance outlet online a telephoto lens even snuck up and took a picture of me in the barber chair, andit was in newspapers prada online outlet all over the country. Then folks we'd never heard of started calling us and writing usfrom all over the world Michael Kors outlet sale and coming here to ask us for money. Many of them represented worthy causes,I'm sure, but we also heard from michael kors handbags just about every harebrained, cockamamy schemer in the world. Iremember one letter from a woman who just came right out michael kors bags and said, "I've never been able to afford the$100,000 house I've always wanted. Will you give me the money" They michael kors outlet online store sale us still do it to this day, write orcall asking for a new car, or money to go on a vacation, Louis Vuitton Outlet or to get some dental workwhatever comesinto their minds.
Now, I'm a friendly fellow by natureI always speak to folks in Louis Vuitton Bags 2015 the street and suchand my wife Helen isas genial and outgoing as she can be, involved in all sorts of Michael Kors crossbody community activities, and we've always livedvery much out in the open. But we really thought there for a while that this "richest" thing was going toruin our whole lifestyle. We've always tried to do our share, but all of a sudden everybody expected us topay their way too. And nosy people from the media would call our house at all hours and get downrightrude when we'd tell them no, you can't bring a TV crew out to the house, or no, we don't Louis Vuitton Outlet stores want yourmagazine to spend a week photographing the lives of the Waltons, or no, I don't have time to share mylife story with you. It made me mad, anyway, that all they wanted to talk about was my family's personalfinances. Michael Kors Outlet Handbags They weren't even interested in Wal-Mart, which was probably one of the best business storiesgoing on anywhere in the world Louis Vuitton Store at the time, but it never even occurred to them to ask about thecompany. The impression I got is that michael kors outlet online sale most media folksand some Wall Street types tooeither thoughtwe were just a bunch of bumpkins selling socks off the back Louis Vuitton bags of a truck, or that we were some kind offast buck artists or stock scammers. And when they did write LV Purses about the company they either got it wrongor just made fun of us.
So the Walton family almost instinctively put a new balance pretty tight lid on personal publicity for any of us, althoughwe kept living out in the open and going around LV handbags visiting folks in the stores all the time. Fortunately, here inBentonville, our friends and neighbors protected us from a lot Michael Kors outlet stores of these scavengers. But I did getambushed by the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" guy at a tennis tournament offical michael kors outlet clearance I was playing in, andHelen talked to one of the women's magazines for an article. The media usually portrayed me Louis Vuitton Bags as a reallycheap, eccentric recluse, sort of a hillbilly who more or less slept with his dogs in spite of chanel outlet having billionsof dollars stashed away in a cave. Then when the stock market crashed in 1987, and Wal-Mart stockdropped along http://www.chevrecakes.com with everything else in the market, everybody wrote that I'd lost a half billion dollars.
When they asked me about it gucci outlet 2014 I said, "It's only paper," and they had a good time with that.
But now I'd like to explain some of Louis Vuitton Outlet my attitudes about moneyup to a point. After that, our financeslikethose of any other normal-thinking American familyare nobody's business but http://www.cheapsmichaelkorswallets.com our own. No questionabout it, a lot of my attitude toward money stems from growing up during a pretty hardscrabble louis vuitton outlet time inour country's history: the Great Depression. And this heartland area we come from out hereMissouri,Oklahoma,Kansas,Arkansaswas hard hit during that mk bags outlet Dust Bowl era. I was born in Kingfisher,Oklahoma, in 1918 and lived there until I was about five, but my cheap Michael Kors bags online earliest memories are ofSpringfield,Missouri,where I started school, and later of the littleMissouritown ofMarshall. After that, we lived in Shelbina,Missouri, where Louis Vuitton Outlet Store I started high school, and still later Columbia, where I finished high school and went onto college.
My dad, Thomas Gibson Michael Kors wallets on sale Walton, was an awfully hard worker who got up early, put in long hours, andwas honest. Completely, totally honest, remembered Michael Kors outlet store by most people for his integrity. He was also a bitof a character, who loved to trade, loved to make louis vuitton luggage a deal for just about anything: horses, mules, cattle,houses, farms, cars. Anything. Once he traded our farm in Kingfisher for cheap louis vuitton bags another one, near Omega,Oklahoma. Another time, he traded his wristwatch for a hog, so we'd have meat on the table. prada outlet online And hewas the best negotiator I ever ran into. My dad had that unusual instinct to know how far he Michael Kors satchel bag could gowith someoneand did it in a way that he and the guy always parted friendsbut he would embarrass mewith chanel factory outlet store some of the offers he would make, they were so low. That's one reason I'm probably not the bestnegotiator in wholesales michael kors bags online the world; I lack the ability to squeeze that last dollar. Fortunately, my brother Bud, who hasbeen my partner from gucci outlet online early on, inherited my dad's ability to negotiate.
Dad never had the kind of ambition or confidence to build much of michal kors purse outlet a business on his own, and he didn'tbelieve in taking on debt. When I was growing up, he had all michael kors outlet online sale sorts of jobs. He was a banker and afarmer and a farm-loan appraiser, and an agent for both insurance and new Louis Vuitton real estate. For a few months,early in the Depression, he was out of work altogether, and eventually he went to Louis Vuitton Outlet Online work for his brother'sWalton Mortgage Co., which was an agent for Metropolitan Life Insurance. Dad became the guy whohad to new balance factory outlet service Metropolitan's old farm loans, most of which were in default. In twenty-nine and thirty andthirty-one, he had to repossess Michael Kors handbags outlet online store hundreds of farms from wonderful people whose families had owned theland forever. I traveled with him some, and it was Louis Vuitton Sunglasses tragic, and really hard on Dad too but he tried to do itin a way that left those farmers with Louis Vuitton Sale as much of their self-respect as he could. All of this must have madean impression on me as a kid, louis vuitton stores although I don't ever remember saying anything to myself like "I'll never bepoor."We never thought of ourselves as poor, although Louis Vuitton we certainly didn't have much of what you'd calldisposable income lying around, and we did what we could to raise Louis Vuitton outlet online a dollar here and there. For example,my mother, Nan Walton, got the idea during the Depression to start a little Michael Kors online outlet milk business. I'd get up earlyin the morning and milk the cows, Mother would prepare and bottle the milk, and Louis Vuitton Purses I'd deliver it afterfootball practice in the afternoons. We had ten or twelve customers, who paid ten cents a gallon. Michael Kors handbags on sale Best ofall, Mother would skim the cream and make ice cream, and it's a wonder I wasn't known as Fat Louis Vuitton SamWalton in those days from all the ice cream I ate.
I also started selling magazine subscriptions, probably as young as michael kors bags on sale seven or eight years old, and I hadpaper routes from the seventh grade all the way through college. I raised Louis Vuitton Outlet online and sold rabbits and pigeonstoo, nothing really unusual for country boys of that era.
I learned from a very early age Louis Vuitton Outlet online that it was important for us kids to help provide for the home, to becontributors rather than just takers. In Michael Kors purse outlet the process, of course, we learned how much hard work it took toget your hands on a dollar, and that Michael Kors crossbody handbags when you did it was worth something. One thing my mother and dadshared completely was their approach to money: they Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags just didn't spend it.
"People can't understand why we're still so conservative. They make a big deal about Sam being Louis Vuitton wallets abillionaire and driving an old pickup truck or buying his clothes at Wal-Mart or refusing to fly first class.
"It's just Louis Vuitton Bags 2015 the way we were brought up.
"When a penny is lying out there on the street, how many people would go louis vuitton luggage out there and pick it up I'llbet I would. And I know Sam would."STEPHEN PUMPHREY, PHOTOGRAPHER:
"Once I was setting up Louis Vuitton Outlet Handbags to photograph Sam out on the tarmac of some little airport inMissouri. He wasover filing a flight plan, and I Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores threw a nickel down on the pavementtrying to be cuteand said to myassistant: 'Lets see if he picks it up.' Michael Kors handbags wholesale Planes are landing and taking off, and Sam comes walking over in abig hurry, a little put out that he Michael Kors handbags sale has to pose for another picture. 'Okay,' he says, 'where do you want meto standon that nickel'"By the time I Louis Vuitton Sale got out in the world ready to make something of myself, I already had a strongly ingrainedrespect for the value Michael Kors outlet clearance of a dollar. But my knowledge about money and finances probably wasn't all thatsophisticated in spite of the business degree chanel bags I had. Then I got to know Helen's family, and listening to herfather, L. S. Robson, was an education in Michael Kors store itself. He influenced me a great deal. He was a great salesman,one of the most persuasive individuals I have ever Michael Kors Outlet met. And I am sure his success as a trader and abusinessman, his knowledge of finance and the law, and gucci bags his philosophy had a big effect on me. Mycompetitive nature was such that I saw his success and admired it. Louis Vuitton Outlet Online I didn't envy it. I admired it. I said tomyself: maybe I will be as successful as he is someday.
The prada outlet Robsons were very smart about the way they handled their finances: Helen's father organized hisranch and family businesses as a michael kors crossbody bags partnership, and Helen and her brothers were all partners. They all tookturns doing the ranch books and things like that. http://www.louisvuitton-lv.us.com Helen has a B.S. degree in finance, which back then wasreally unusual for a woman. Anyway, Mr. Robson advised us cheap Michael Kors bags usa to do the same thing with our family, andwe did, way back in 1953. What little we had at the Louis vuitton outlet time, we put into a partnership with our kids, whichwas later incorporated into Walton Enterprises.