I finally had to admit we were broke and we had to start all over. I was never so devastated, so beat down and degraded. I had always been so proud of my excellent credit rating and warm relationship with my bankers. They had been so good to me; too good as it turned out. I felt that to declare bankruptcy was a sin and a black mark on your life you could not out live. I had sold everything I could, the lake house, the motor home, all my cattle, farm equipment, everything.
I borrowed all I could from one bank to pay off another. I sold perfectly good notes receivable at big discounts to raise cash. On most of my bigger notes receivable like one for $2,000,000.00 and others for over $500,000.00 my debtors were declaring bankruptcy and those were notes receivable I had put up at banks for collateral. It was a mess and I fought it for two years but in December 1989 I finally had to throw in the towel, something my Accountant, my Lawyer and my Pastor had been trying to get me to do for almost a year.
The black day came on January 24, 1960 on my 65 birthday. That was the day Charlotte and I started over. I also started from the absolute depths emotionally but thank God for Charlotte, she was the rock that I needed. I sat down one day and made a priority list of the things that were most important to me. It started with God, then Charlotte, then family, then health, and so on down the list and finally about number 9 was money!
I had finally realized that things were not as bad as they could have been. I still had the best wife in the whole world, wonderful children and children-in-law, precious grandchildren. All I had lost was all of my money. It was not the end of the world, move on! Charlotte and I had turned it all over to the Lord and He guided us through the next few years as we climbed out of our hole. Charlotte was incredible. She was the strong one during this period as depression set in and I needed her love and support to keep going. She supplied that and more.