Peter Golden 11

September 8, 2003


Peter Golden talks about Max's opportunistic business sense and the start of his career.
Credit: Mort Crim Communications

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What Max did was this: he went to his father and said, “Let’s refine this oil.” And he had this money and he started and he did refine it, and he made a lot of money. And the pipes exploded, ruined part of the refinery. And his father said, “You ruined my refinery.” He said, “No no.” He goes, “We’ll make more money, if we replace the pipes. So, let’s just keep going.” And that’s what he did. So the idea was here he was with these exploding pipes and he told his father exactly—I think he called it—I think he told his father they would clear ten thousand dollars a month. Now, ten thousand dollars a month in 1932 or ’33 is just an astronomical sum of money. And Max said he was actually a little low, it was like ten thousand one hundred and twenty dollars or something. And so that’s what he did. And for a time, no one was thinking—I mean anyone could have done that. I mean the reclaiming plant was there. His father could have done it. His father could have done it. Anyone could have done it. I think that Max was just one of those people who was wired differently that way and he saw an opportunity.