Take our Saturday morning meetings, for example. Without a little entertainment and a sense of theunpredictable, how in the world could we ever have gotten those hundreds of peoplemost of ourmanagers and some associates from the general offices here in Bentonvilleto get up every Saturdaymorning and actually come in here with smiles on their faces If they knew all they could expect in thatmeeting was somebody droning on about comparative numbers, followed by a serious lecture on theproblems of our business, could we have kept the meeting alive No way. No matter how strongly I feltabout the necessity of that meeting, the folks would have revolted, and even if we still held it, it wouldn'tbe any good at all. As it is, the Saturday morning meeting is at the very heart of the Wal-Mart culture. "A pigmy scraper wi' his fiddle pk10彩心得 An awful lot of water has washed over the dam since 1945, when we bought that little Front Street storein Newport, but almost every single thing we learned, every basic principle we applied in building thatstore up into a respectable business, still applies to our company today. It's hard to think of anothercompany that sustained the kind of growth we did over thirty years without experiencing any majorfinancial problems or dips in profitability. During that time, our business was growing at annual rates ofanywhere from 30 to an incredible 70 percent in some years. He took his medicine, but he never dwelled on either the illness that had befallen him or its potentialcures. Rather, he seized the day. At the time of the diagnosis, in early 1990, he had been working,somewhat ambivalently, on an autobiography. He canceled that project, choosing instead to spend mostof his time and energy doing what he enjoyed most: flying his plane from town to town, going fromWal-Mart to Wal-Mart, visiting with his beloved associates. Toward the end of 1991, when he began torealize that his illness was catching up with him and would soon limit his mobility, Dadat the urging of ourfamily and others again turned his attention to the idea of putting his story down on paper while he stillcould. Once he decided to write it, he threw himself into this book project with the same focus andenergy he applied to everything he did in life. He was very particular about what he wanted his book tobe, and he worked at it daily, making revisions, adding anecdotes, refining style points, urging others tocontribute their memories. " 'What town' "I especially remember the trip East. We went through the Carolinas and headed up the coast. It wasMother and Dad and all four kids and one scroungy dog named Tiny. We rolled into New York City in astation wagon with a canoe on top and a camping trailer on the backthat was the first time any of us kidshad ever been there. I have one really special memory of that trip. We went to seeCamelot, with theoriginal castJulie Andrews, Richard Burton, Roddy McDowall, and Robert Gouletand we were allwearing Bermuda shorts."Of course, what they say is true. I was visiting stores all the time, and I still do it today. In feet, we'vevisited them all over the world, and gotten some great ideas that wayas well as a few that didn't workout so well. Like working weekends, it's just something you have to do if you want to be successful in theretail business. I'm glad my kids remember the good times and don't seem to resent me too much for myabsences and distractions over the years. I think maybe one reason they don't have too much resentmentis that Helen and I always involved them in the business and kept them informed right from the startI hadno idea, incidentally, that Alice was so frightened of debt as a little girl, but there are certainly moreirrational things she could have feared. They may not have wanted to go visit all those stores while wewere on vacation, but they had some idea why I was doing it. They worked in the stores, invested in thestores, and shopped in the stores.