On this date in 1777; the Marquis de Lafayette landed in the US.
It must be noted that I am not a fan of Hamilton. But the story of the Marquis de Lafayette, brings a certain warmth to my soul.
I am often reminded of someone in my life that served as a southern version of the good Marquis in my life. My friend, who I will give the moniker Gilbert, is that friend.
Gilbert is not a colossus of the financial world. He lives a decent life and is adept at saving. His start was not as bright as you would think.
Gilbert had meager beginnings, not rich. He had dabbled in less than honest markets as a younger man. He lived an interesting life in a whirlwind. His romantic life punished him just like many around him. But he was able to persevere.
I met Gilbert during the sunnier times while I was in the martial arts world. He was a kind man to many off the bat, preferring to give a fallen soul a chance to begin with.
I would find myself stopping by his slip of land on the outskirts of nowhere. He always had an open door and a cool drink. He would have a moment to throw lead, on his dime. But his riches were beyond time for a friend.
Gilbert would aid other friends running businesses. His help would often be skirt near the angel investing realm. He would work along side of those that he invested in. I would also see him bail out someone else’s dying business, giving better than fair market value for remaining assets. He also helped a cheerful rapscallion during a failed political campaign. Gilbert gave me more for my truck than I thought reasonable. (It needed repairs).
Gilbert thought nothing of this. He was a loving man who was there to mourn and to celebrate. He was what he wanted in the world.
For my historical tie in, people look over some of the interesting things that the Marquis did. He spent his family money to pay his own troops. He often bought uniforms for other soldiers. He had originally left on an “adventure” with no blessing from the French King and widely frowned upon by members of his family. Many notable American historical figures counted the Marquis de Lafayette among friends, as he was recognized after the war.
As I stumbled along in my own life, I must recognize Gilbert as the rich friend among us.