An excerpt from It’s Never Too Late, by William C. Moss (Glitterati Incorporated, October 2012).
After working with my dad for about a year, I recognized that some of the insecurities and feelings that I had had in my relationship with him as a younger person were reoccurring. There was no real warmth. I did not receive recognition or approval of the work I was doing. I decided that I would go into business for myself. So I moved to Midland, Texas where most of the oil company’s executive offices were.
During the next thirty years my business flourished. I started at the very bottom hawking oil deals that I generated and assembled. I was able to attract outstanding geolo¬gists by giving them a piece of the action. I made enough cash to cover my living expenses and negotiated an interest in each prospect as part of my fee. That was the beginning of my success. My geologist continued working in the Midland office but I moved to Dallas where there was a more active market for my deals. I made lifelong friends in the oil business, had an active social life and a helluva good time. I did not recognize God in my life. My drinking continued.
It did not take me long to learn that some of the oilmen in Dallas were getting their financing in New York. So I rented an apartment in New York City, opened a financial office there, and with the help of investment bankers raised a lot of drilling money. New York City became vital to my expanding oil business, as did contacts I made in Palm Beach, Florida, where I leased a home in the winter, and Southampton, New York, where I leased a home in the summer.
I got the best tables in the great restaurants and famous night clubs.Not because I was famous but because I was a big tipper. Entertaining was an integral part of my busi¬ness. My life became a whirlwind of parties, private jets, chartered yachts, and memberships in many exclusive private clubs. There were elegant and entertaining ladies with whom I made some lasting friendships and had a few misguided romances. I went to Wimbledon, the U.S. Open tennis, U.S. Open golf, The Masters, Super Bowls, the World Series, the theatre, ballet, symphonies, and the Oscars. There were always cocktails before business lunches, drinks before dinner, wine with dinner, and on special occasions, champagne and caviar. Sometimes we went to a floor show after dinner. It was what most of my friends and business associates enjoyed as a way of life. We joked about hangovers and went on our merry way.
One day a friend of mine arranged an appointment for me in New York with a senior member of a big investment firm. I was on time but he kept me waiting for nearly an hour. When I finally got in to see him our meeting was encouraging and lasted longer than expected. I had a plane to catch. When I left his office I got caught up in the traffic of a parade for astronaut John Glenn, who earlier that year had become the first American toto orbit the Earth. I missed the plane. I went back across the street to the office of a friend of mine who knew I was supposed to be on that flight. When he saw me, his face turned white. My missed plane was American Flight 1, which crashed shortly after takeoff on March 1, 1962. All eighty-seven passengers and eight crew died.
I was working hard and my companies were financially successful. We were finding and developing oil and gas, developing real estate, and making and selling other invest¬ments. I was making millions of dollars but my lifestyle was expensive, excessive, and permissive. I was experiencing anxiety and stress, drinking a lot and taking sedatives to sleep. I put tremendous pressure on myself to succeed and be accepted. Although my main office, with its growing staff, had remained in Dallas, I had exploration offices in Midland and Houston, Texas; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Jackson Mississippi. I was too busy for church and drifted farther away from God.
On May 3, 1968 I had an important business meeting in Houston which ran overtime because of some protracted negotiations. Once again I missed a flight. This time, it was Braniff Flight 352 from Houston to Dallas. It crashed and everyone on board was killed.
After each crash I believed that God had saved my life and wondered if He had something left for me to do.
About the author: Born in Wyoming in 1920, William Moss grew up in the oil fields of Odessa, Texas. After graduating from Baylor University and serving in the Air Corps during World War II, Moss embarked on a career that would involve oil and gas exploration, ranching, securities, motion pictures, television, charities, and religious organizations. In 1989, at the request of President George H. W. Bush, Moss organized and was chairman of the President’s Drug Advisory Council, which functioned as part of the Executive Branch of the White House. He also founded the William Moss Institute, a charitable and educational organization at American University and was also former founder, chairman and president of Television Corporation of America, which produced a Peabody award-winning documentary. He is also author of Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times. He resides in Dallas with his wife Dianne and his dog, Champ.