As I Like It!

November 2011 Newsletter

Thomas R. Lawrence

456 South 10th Street

Opelika, AL 36801


As I See It!™

November  2011

Volume 2, Number 10

In This Issue: 

Welcome from Tom

Fifty-Four Years Later

So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur

Front Porch Press

College Football 2011

As I Like it!TM

River Terrace Restaurant

In Defense of Grits

The leaves are turning and the frost is on the pumpkins.  We have adjusted the cosmic forces to set the universe back an hour and the 2011 College football season is grinding to a close.  Joe Paterno is paying for a decision to put loyalty over morality and our friends in Europe are struggling to make the Euro system work.  The Republican apparatus is in an agony of mediocrity and President Obama is grinning on the sidelines.  The 99% are proving to be a national threat to the health and safety of our larger cities and we are finally getting out of Iraq.  The only part of this whole deal that I think worthy of additional comment is college football and to see what I have to say on that subject,click here.


I am fortunate in many ways, not the least of which is that I have two high school alma maters, and thus two opportunities to attend class reunions.  I recently went to the fifty-fourth reunion of the Cleveland High School Class of 1957.  I moved from Cleveland, deep in the Mississippi Delta, the summer between my junior and senior year and graduated with the Murrah High Class of 1957 in JacksonClick here and share my very poignant experience.


I have a burr under my saddle and I need to get it out.  I’ve been starting businesses since I was twenty-one years old and I’ve been able to make a decent living and have a ton of fun in the process.  The first couple of efforts sprang from my lifelong distaste of working for someone else.  I don’t play well with others and am apt to run with scissors.  These early ventures were the children of necessity and were started with hard work and absolutely no capital.  I always made a good living, but without the funds to expand and grow, I was never able to gain the traction needed to get past survival.

Over the years, I learned about OPM (other people’s money), one of the basic tenets of serial entrepreneurship.  In the intervening fifty years, I have enjoyed modest levels of success and titanic failures.  Hopefully, I have learned a few things about the process and if you’d like to me share this with you,click here.


I am embarrassed to report that Chinaberry Press, LLC is no longer in business.  Sad to say, Chinaberry met its demise at the hands of the Federal Trademark system.  One would assume that since starting Chinaberry was not my first rodeo, I would have done a thorough check to determine the availability of the name Chinaberry Press, LLC.  As a matter of fact, I did check the Trademark database and there was no Chinaberry Press listed.  I pressed on with the name, the logo, the LLC and the website.  Oops!

It seems that there was a company in California that secured a trademark for Chinaberry, Inc and followed it up with an additional mark for Chinaberry Book Service, Inc.  Their attorney took umbrage at our use of the term and suggested that “strong legal action” would be forthcoming if we continued to use the name.  I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and beat a hasty retreat to Front Porch Press, LLC.

Lisa and I are in the process of re-doing all of our “stuff” to reflect the change.  Our own trademark attorney is verifying that we can indeed apply for a trademark for Front Porch Press, LLC and we are pressing on with our plans.  Assuming there are no more surprises, we will have Front Porch Press up and running around the first of the year.  Stay tuned.

As I Like it!


I recently received an invitation to go out to dinner in Columbia, Tennessee and experienced one of those rare surprises that come when you find a really good restaurant in an unlikely location.  Columbia, aside from being the home of James Polk, our eleventh President, is best known as the Mule Capital of the South.  A small city of 35,000 souls, it is located just to the west of I-65 some 45 miles south of Nashville.

When my friends suggested that we eat at a local Cajun restaurant I have to admit to a certain amount of skepticism.  Columbia looked a lot like a Shoney’s kind of town and it seemed unlikely that a New Orleans eatery would be very good.  To see how wrong I was, Click here and read about the River Terrace in Columbia.


Native southerners often feel compelled to refute many of the popular myths that Yankees have about our southern culture.  There are those who would contend that southern culture is an oxymoron in the first place.  These misconceptions range from the practice of marrying our first cousins to our propensity to go barefoot whenever the weather permits.

Just about the time we make a little headway in this battle, someone writes a book that makes our grandmothers sound like the re-incarnation of Simon Legree.  Now we are constantly explaining that most of us were raised by a wonderful and loving black lady, who we treated like a family member, but no subject about the south irks me more than the total bad rep given to grits

Click here to share my effort to explain our love affair with what may well be our national dish.

Copyright© 2011 Capital Consultants Company.  All rights reserved


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