Wall Street: Where the Rainbow Ends
Can a man go right after he has gone so wrong? In his old age Melvin C. Horsey had many times reflected on errors he had made in calculations and mistakes in judgment. He had stopped buying and selling stock long ago because it had become clear to him that every decision he had taken had been a wrong decision even if it had resulted in a gain. But in the end his hard work and clear thinking had led to his present success: the founding and publication of THE STOCK PICTURE. He was convinced that he had set out on the right path as a young man, but somehow chance and circumstance and perhaps his own obsession with success had led him to diverge from the good and true and to lose his bearings. During the final stages of World War I he had served in the army for six months, from August 1918 to January 1919. During that time, though never dispatched to bases far from home, he had received many letters from girls he knew in Crisfield, Maryland. Those letters of love were precious to him, and he had read them all so often that they were smudged from his fingertips. On returning to his home by the Chesapeake Bay in Crisfield, he had seen many of the senders of the letters of love, but he already knew in his heart that neither the town of Crisfield nor the girls he knew would keep him there. Crisfield was too small, too remote, too rustic. And the people there his family, his friends, his neighbors, his sweethearts their attraction was strong but his aims were higher. He had bigger plans, and all his plans ended in the quest for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. He soon discovered, though, that success in business is often as elusive as the end of the rainbow. His early business ventures ended in failure. His losses often involved losses to others who had trusted his judgment and backed his business endeavors. His early business ventures were misdirected and unprofitable for that time and that place. He and his partners established the Horsey-Bassett Co. which sold everything from raincoats to lingerie to jewelry. When sales slumped, he tried selling custom-made men's suits. With little success in business, he became a teacher of Gregg shorthand at Crisfield High School. During his time as a teacher, he met and soon married Virginia White, called Jinja, who was an elementary school teacher in Princess Anne. His mother had approved. She said that Virginia was "good-looking" and "even better-looking in the day time than at night because she liked her freckles." With his business failing and seeing little future in teaching shorthand, he moved with his wife and infant daughter Joanne to Salisbury, Maryland. There he opened an ill-fated brokerage firm. When the stock market crashed again in the mid-1930s, the brokerage firm went bankrupt. Its failure resulted in many losses to his investors. It was then that he fled from his disgruntled clients. He sent his wife and daughter to live with his mother in Crisfield and he headed for Wall Street to seek his fortune there. Now as he neared the end of life's journey, he found himself with the financial success which he had found on Wall Street with his promotion of stock charts and the publication of THE STOCK PICTURE, but as he reflected upon the past, there were moments of regret. During those moments he had a heavy conscience and sharp pangs of guilt: guilt arising from his neglect of family, the alienation of his two children and the early death of his devoted wife Virginia White Horsey.
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