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The Savage Way: Successfully Navigating the Waves of Business and Life by Bill Cosby, Frank Savage

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Chapter 7

Africa Calls Once Again . . .

The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it.

—George Kimble

Sometimes opportunity knocks when you least expect it and under the most unlikely circumstances. It’s like finding the strangest of bedfellows in the most surprising of beds.

Such was the case with TAW. It was 1973 and I was sitting behind my desk in the Equitable building on 1285 Avenue of the Americas. I pored over financial statements and related reports on my MESBIC portfolio companies. I tossed my glance out of one of my 10th-floor windows in my newly adopted home. I loved the hustle, the bustle of New York, the deep thump of its unceasing pulse beneath the concrete and earthen tissues of streets, parks, and building foundations. I relished in it all—the infectious rhythm and roil of its people, all wonderfully contrasting creeds and colors, with their distinctive shoes, bags, hats, and individualized styles and natures.

It was so different, so distant, from Washington, DC, from Jeddah, from Monrovia. This was the city that swallowed and chewed me lightly when I first visited as a child with my mother to attend the International Beauty Show in a building walking distance from this office. A ringing phone broke my sliver of a reprieve as my secretary announced that Hughlyn Fierce was on the line.

“I know you’re probably very busy and I don’t want to interrupt anything, but I would like to introduce you to Tom Wood, a brother who is a director here at Chase.” ...

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