Rich walked into Olivette, the restaurant at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, and spotted his pastor, Reverend Jim Conroy, reading the newspaper at a table near the corner window. The two men had a standing breakfast meeting that they’d maintained over the previous six years, about the time Pastor Conroy started at Houston’s Grace Methodist Church. Jim was one of those men who would be successful at anything he put his mind to. Rich had wondered before just how wealthy Jim would be had his interest been in worldly pursuits, rather than spiritual.
Jim was in his early 60s and had wisdom beyond his years. He was the most perceptive person Rich had ever known, which came in quite handy in Jim’s line of work. Somehow, Jim could laser in on the real issue regardless of what his parishioner or anyone else he was conversing with was willing to share. Yes, Jim would have been a very good businessman indeed, and Rich appreciated Jim’s insight.
They met at the Houstonian, an exclusive social club near the church, every other month. The Houstonian is situated on acres of manicured lawns with beautiful towering trees. It may be best known as the address that the country’s forty-first president, George H.W. Bush, used as his legal residence in Texas while occupying the White House. Bush still visited every once in a while, as did other Houston dignitaries like former secretary of state Jim Baker.
Richard looked forward to the meetings as a therapeutic opportunity ...