Tearing Up Like John Boehner At A Tanning Booth

Do you remember your first car? I do. My brother Jeff and I purchased a 1967 Electra 225. My first new car was also a Buick, a 1975 Skylark. It was new. It was blue. And it was a piece of crap that had rust spots within months from that day that I drove it off the lot. My favorite car, so far, was my second Volvo, a red S80 T6. That was a great car.

I think it is funny how much joy we get from some of our possessions. Sometimes, like my Volvo, it is because of the performance of the item. Sometimes it is the back story that creates the value.

My living room television is a 27” Magnavox. The picture is just as great as it was the day I purchased the TV on a Friday afternoon in August of 1991. I still laugh every time I think about how I got it home. The May Company salesman and I couldn’t fit the huge box into my Honda Accord. This was years before flat screens. May Company wanted $30 to deliver the television to my home, three blocks away. I drove home, walked back, and talked the store into lending me a dolly. As I carted the TV on the dolly through the streets of South Euclid, I answered the quizzical looks I received with “They’re looting TV’s at May Company!”

Yes, I can be silly at times.

I was thinking about this habit of rating and categorizing things earlier today as I began the difficult task of packing up my office. A lot is changing in the next two weeks. Jeff and I are adding another partner to our business, changing our name, and moving. On January 1, 2011 Bogart, Cunix & Associates becomes Bogart Cunix & Browning LLC. We move into our new offices next Wednesday.

My current office is my absolute favorite office to date and I’m not completely ready to leave.

Our first Bogart Cunix office was in the Darling Building on Chagrin. It was comfortable. It was functional. And it was inexpensive. That five year lease ended in 2005 and we were ready for bigger, nicer space. We were shown offices all around Beachwood, but we couldn’t find anything nearly as nice as the suite on Science Park. It was one of the first offices we were shown. The building was incredible with lots of glass and granite. But the space was a little more than we needed and a little more money than we wanted to pay.

Still, the office was amazing. All it needed was a fresh coat of paint and new carpet. We finally realized that the suite was too nice to pass up. Five plus years later and I still consider myself lucky to have found this place.

What makes it so special? What makes it home? The view from my desk – trees, and sometimes even deer. The ceilings are high. We talked our way into daylight florescent lights that allow all of the colors in the paintings to be seen. And yes, the art is important.

Our office was featured in the Plain Dealer a few years ago. We don’t have “office art”. Our art reflects Jeff’s taste and mine. Much of it was created by clients and local artists. We have two Strachov prints. We have two Hector Vega’s. No other insurance office in the State of Ohio looks like mine.

Did I mention the bookshelves? Al Franken and Chaim Potok. J. R. R. Tolkien and L. B. J., the former president not the former Cavalier. My office is safe haven. People come here to talk. Religion and politics, nothing is out of bounds here.

Our new office is on Landerbrook Drive in Mayfield Heights. The building is, in many ways, nicer. It is also ten years newer. My personal space will even be larger, an extra thirty square feet which takes me up to almost 350. The build out is based on my drawings.

And yet, I’m not completely ready to leave.

So as I remove the plaques from the walls and pack my books, I will take one last mental picture of this office. I will remember the clients who came here, the conversations we had, and the special moments we shared.

And when it is all over, I will take one last look out the window and hope to see the deer.