... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Generational Wealth- Vigilante or Villain

As I have shared about the payoff of the grit, and often arduous path to the creation of generational wealth, I would be remiss not to weigh in on the hardships and when methods of operation clash.

Ask anyone who knew our father, Gerald Frank and you will most likely hear two sides. He was generous with his time, knowledge, and he enjoyed mentoring young aspiring minds.   He was compassionate for those down on their luck, often to the consternation of our family renting to the unemployed, drug addicted, or previously evicted.  He believed in giving anyone and everyone a second chance.  However, if he found something unjust, unreasonable, or if someone took advantage of his generosity, all bets were off.  He did not play by any “Business 101′ Rule book.  Often times, his tactics left my mother, sisters and I mired in lawsuits or cleaning up his messes.  Our family battles on how to tackle issues was always a source of contention.  If Daddy was wronged or felt wronged, he was not above hiring pickets (including us his daughters) to march in front of lending institutions, local businesses, auto shops, and even bank president’s primary residents.  He reveled in the movement of Freedom of Speech and utilized the power of exposure to in his own words, “bring em to their knees.”  I recall the shame and humiliation of carrying a picket sign in front of SeaFirst Bank in downtown Seattle during rush hour.   Daddy reasoned and was proven right that if we just laid down and accepted the banks denial of his refinance request, we could never continue to amass generational wealth.  As I read in the news in 2020 about JP Morgan Chase’s pledge of $30B to end the banking’s systemic racism, I know he would be celebrating this long overdue victory.

I can only imagine the unconventional measures he would have taken against the 2020 City Council imposed moratorium (cessation of evictions for non -payers) on rents.  Daddy considered himself a vigilante, and as the definition states, he was a self-appointed citizen who took the law in his own hands because the legal authorities were inadequate.

During the moratorium, I along with my son had a sit down with one of our state representatives and expressed how the Pandemic has affected us housing providers.  I plead on deaf ears that some residents are just “bad actors” using the moratorium as a rent holiday and living for free. Meanwhile, it was mandated that I still pay my mortgage, utilities, maintenance repairs, taxes and so forth.  I guess that’s why we are called Landlords- the Lord will provide?

Long before any Pandemic, Daddy much to our family’s dismay had far too many bad actors.  When someone claimed they could not pay, he would then barter for services. Many became staff on our work crew- painting, mowing lawns, office assistants, and even tennis lessons one summer for me and my sister.  But one I recall specifically,  Mr. Jenkins wouldn’t work and wouldn’t pay.  Daddy arrived one early, blistery, rainy Seattle winter morning with his carpenter at the resident’s home and directed his carpenter to remove the front door.  The carpenter shrieked, it wasn’t quite 4 AM, but he proceeded as mandated.  By the time Daddy arrived home, Mr. Jenkins was on the phone screaming, “My front door is missing!”  Daddy replied, “Hold on… ain’t that a coincidence, so is your rent!”

There were countless battles that we as a family had to combat.  My mother, sisters and I took the long righteous road, and our father always took measures into his own hands and worried about the consequences later. Although we didn’t always agree on the path to justice, we were always in agreement on seeking and exposing “bad actors”.

Photo below from The Seattle Times – Daddy couldn’t wait for the sheriff.