A Life Lesson Learned…(Again)

Paige Pennington

Walter Ray and I learned something (again) at a recent appearance that he made. Not everyone is an honest person!

Recently I called some bowling centers, spoke with general managers or owners and set up some informal appearances. Every center called was made aware of the nominal fee for this informal autograph session and what Walter Ray would be doing. Only after these things, and more (time, night, space requirements etc.), were discussed and agreed upon, did I write all of the information down on my schedule.

We arrived at one of our scheduled appearances right on time with Sharpie pens in hand. The general manager that I spoke with wasn't there, but the owner, let's just call him 'Dick', was. Walter Ray introduced himself and they showed us to the table they had set up. Before we were even ready, there was a line forming for autographs and pictures. That was fine. It is much more fun to do these appearances when there are a lot of people who are excited to see Walter Ray.

After about two and a half hours, I set about packing up. Walter Ray went to speak with 'Dick' about the token compensation and to offer him, as a small thank you, an autographed bowling pin and photo. He returned shaking his head with a strange look on his face. He told me that the owner had refused to pay him! The reason he gave was that I had spoken to his general manager and not 'Dick' himself and that he (the owner) had never agreed to the appearance. This is not a very honest person.

I could have understood a simple miscommunication. Maybe 'Dick' didn't want us to make the appearance. I scheduled the appearance about two weeks before we made it. Perhaps he could have called and let us know he wasn't interested? Maybe 'Dick' didn't have a way to contact us? Hmm….let's see, there's the PBA website, OUR website, and I did leave our telephone number! Yep, we would be pretty hard to track down.

So, he didn't get in touch with us before we arrived…why did he let us set up? Why not tell us when we got there he didn't want the appearance? Towards the end of our time at his center my friend 'Dick' had the audacity to bring about half a dozen pins out of his office for Walter Ray to sign! Sound like someone who didn't want Walter Ray there? Hmmm…sounds to me more like this particular 'Dick' just wanted something for nothing.

Unfortunately, for us, this is not the first time we have been involved with people who want Walter Ray to do something and then get away with not paying him.

Last year, a certain company that is involved with a certain type of merchandise offered Walter Ray a contract to wear their apparel and then backed out. I would tell you their name, but I always choke when I say it. Besides they would probably sue us, they sue everyone else. That little adventure cost us $40 thousand.

Then Faball (who then had the rights to manufacture Hammer equipment) basically went out of business while owing Walter Ray $34 thousand dollars.

That $74 thousand would sure be nice to have about now (after a long summer break with no national tournaments)!

I think our basic problem is that we expect other people to treat us like we would treat them. We are both basically honest people who deal with others in a forthright and respectful manner. That is not to say we don't have our problems. Walter Ray is really messy. I tend to be slightly obsessive and neither of us always knows when to keep our mouths shut. But, we don't lie, cheat and steal!

One would think that after all the mistakes we have made and all the times we have been on the 'wrong end of a raw deal' that we would learn something. We always think we do at the time, but apparently another problem we have is bad memories! We forget to be cynical and get 'spanked' again.

Well, maybe this time we'll learn our lesson. It could happen!

See Ya'


[an error occurred while processing this directive]