(p. 42) It was February 1958. I got myself a room, not far from the office, in a little house built in the 1920s owned by a seventy-five-year-old woman named Mrs. Thompson. I lived in her “in-law’s room,” which meant I had my own front door, but I had to share the bathroom with her and, because I did not have a kitchen, I had to eat out. My rent was $10 a week.
I had my car, which meant I could get around, and the training school was air-conditioned, which meant my second summer in Dallas was a lot more pleasant than my first.
Thank you, Willis Haviland Carrier, for inventing air-conditioning. I owe you one. And I’m not the only one. At the height of the dot-com stock market bubble of 1999, Barton Biggs–the wise, graying investments guru at Morgan Stanley–posed this question to seventy-one people: which invention is more important, the Internet or air-conditioning? Barton was on the losing side of the vote, 70-2.
Obviously, he’d found seventy people who’d never spent an August in Texas.
Wyly, Sam. 1,000 Dollars and an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire. New York: Newmarket Press, 2008.