A Speech at Yale University Delivered by Larry Ellison
Finally, I realize that many of you, and hopefully by now most of you, are wondering, ‘Is there anything I can do? Is there any hope for me at all?’ Actually,no. It’s too late. You’ve absorbed too much, think you know too much. You’ve not 19 anymore. You have a built-in cap, and I’m not referring to the mortarboards on your heads.
Next morning, there was no school for me. Dad handed me a sandwich in a paper bag and told me to put on my warm cap and a pair of canvas gloves. Then he drove me to the Booker farm. Dad told Mr. Booker I would re-shock all the corn and that tinder no circumstances? should he or anyone else help me. Then he walked me to the field, where we surveyed the awful mess.” Have some more fun,” he said.On Halloween eve in 1924, my brother, Bob, and his friends planned to pull a spring wagon? up onto a low- roofed barn at Jesse Booker’s farm as a prank.
I’d overheard their plans and begged to go along, but Bob (age 13 and 2 years older than me) said I was too young. I threatened to tell on? them if they didn’t take me, so Bob reluctantly said I could tag along.
The older kids were gone a long time, and when they finally returned they were so excited that they never noticed what I’d done. But someone noticed the next morning — my father.He was our school bus driver, and when we drove by the Booker farm, he stopped the bus, stood in the center aisle and asked the older boys if they knew who’d torn up the corn shocks. The boys said they knew nothing about it … and that was true.
That night at supper, Dad interrogated Bob again about that mess in the field, adding that it was a particular hardship for Mr. Booker, who was crippled with rheumatism. Bob admitted .hoisting the wagon onto the barn roof, and then he told Dad that I should know about the corn shocks, since I’d stayed out at the road.Dad turned to me with a look on his face I didn’t like.”Don’t tell me you did all that damage by yourself!” he said.I tried to explain how I was so mad about being left out of the Halloween fun that I decided to make some fun of my own.
Later, when the school bus came by, there was a lot of yelling and laughing. I was humiliated.
I quickly learned it was a lot harder setting those shocks back up than tearing them down. Surely, I thought, Dad would send someone to help me, for he must have known how much I was aching by afternoon.That was when I saw Mr. Booker coming through the field. He brought me some oatmeal cookies and some sweet hot tea — but he didn’t help.When the school bus came by again in the afternoon, there was more yelling and laughter. The next day was Saturday, but with sore muscles, hands full of blisters and wounded pride, I was hauled right back out there to finish the job.From that day on, I’ve had the greatest respect for the hard work farmers put into their crops. And I’ve never gone on another Halloween raid!