Saturday, March 2, 2013

Colorful Doesn't Even Begin To Describe This Guy

The March 1, 2013 Kansas City Star has an interesting article about one of the more uniquely American characters: a guy named Del Dunmire.  He has spent tens of millions of dollars restoring a pre-Civil Wart own called Harrisonville -- and now it is for sale.  What makes this guy Dunmire so colorful is his past:
Dunmire arrived with a résumé laden with eccentricity. He had bankrolled a Caribbean cruise for his entire 1952 high school graduating class, and hired Evel Knievel and Fabian to perform at his Kansas City wedding extravaganza....

It was an October day in 1958. Dunmire, an airman based at Schilling Air Force Base (now closed) in Kansas, drove to Abilene, robbed a bank and got away with a little more than $2,000. But during his getaway, he made a wrong turn and drove down a dead-end road.

A state trooper simply waited for him to head back his way and then shot out a tire on Dunmire’s rented Chevy.

Dunmire went to prison. It was there that he decided he wanted to be rich, the legitimate way.
He went from prison to college. He studied engineering. Then he started a machine shop that eventually turned into Growth Industries, which makes parts for aircraft — components for landing gear, cockpits and lavatories.

He got rich and didn’t hide it.
I would like to think that every reasonably clever person could figure out a way to turn a horrible mistake like that into the Great American Success Story. Pretty obviously, that isn't the case, but it is still heartwarming to see someone like this.

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