By Ray Schultz
One evening last fall, my wife and I were enjoying some Blue Point oysters at the Oyster Bar when she turned and said, “Isn’t that your friend Yale?”
Yale Moss! I tried to duck under the counter, but it was too late. Yale was on his way over, accompanied by a very tall young woman who looked vaguely familiar.
The last I’d heard of Yale, he was trying to get into the cannabis business. He sent an offer to his dad Mo’s Proclivities database of drunkards, dope fiends, deadbeats and other such riffraff.
The list hadn’t been updated in years, and the people on it were unresponsive and presumed dead. But many now came forward to place cannabis orders.
It might have worked. But then Yale offered an imported hashish sampler and was sued by a consortium of state AGs. He must have been testing his own product because he looked a little loopy.
Yale introduced us to his friend: Danielle Hall, also called Danny. Though Yale described her as a sculptor, we recognized her at once as the scion of the Hall family, the owner of vast real estate holdings, luxury car dealerships and many other businesses, and super-wealthy in her own right.
We got acquainted—Danny seemed gracious, if slightly bored with people at our level–and Yale offered me “a nice piece of opiated hash,” which I declined since I eschew drug use in all its forms.
Yale and I went to look at the desserts, and he let me in on his plan: “I met her online. I’m gonna marry her. In a month, my algorithms will be running the entire Hall empire. We’re on our way to Tampa to meet my folks.”
Now I wouldn’t be in a hurry to introduce a fiancé of mine to Mo and Wendy, especially one like Danny. But nobody asked my opinion, and they left the next day.
Predictably, Mo instantly saw the advantage of a match between the Moss and Hall families, and he arranged to have the couple married in his living room the very night of their arrival by a judge who had fixed some of his real estate cases.
I was relieved—the fact that we weren’t invited to the wedding meant we didn’t have to send a gift. But I didn’t get it. “What does she see in him?” I asked my wife.
“Well, he is a bit of a hunk,” she replied. (Something she never said about me). “He’s the only man who’s as tall as she is.”
I had to hand it to Yale—he had married into money, which is just as legitimate a way of getting it as any other.
Unfortunately, things did not go well in Yale’s initial interview with Danny’s father Hal Hall, a short man with a huge chest and a large round face.
Yale had set up a presentation on his technology (which had been down since May).
“Don’t bother,” Hal growled. “I’ve got the best IT department in the country, and if I needed any help, you’d be the last person I’d turn to.”
Then, as if he were talking to an employment counselor, Yale said he might like to get into real estate development.
Hal hissed, “When my daughter divorces you, I’ll see you end up on the street.”
Under that cloud, Yale and Danny embarked upon married life. Of course, they needed to find a job for Yale, and Hal came through because Danny usually gets her way. But the job reflected Yale’s standing in the business and also, sadly, in the marriage—that of a kept man.
Every morning, Yale and Danny leave her private 12-room residence in the Pierre, Yale carrying a peanut butter sandwich in a brown paper bag. He wears an outfit that looks as if it was issued by a halfway house: an ill-fitting sports jacket, corduroy pants, a shirt and a knit tie.
They enter a chauffeured SUV and are driven it to Danny’s massive sculpture studio in Long Island City. Then Yale is on his own, and has to catch the El to Woodside, and transfer to the Long Island Railroad. This he takes to Rockville Centre, Long Island, where he walks half a mile to a building in back of a used-car lot: the Sunrise Hauling & Cartage Company.
On Hal’s command, the low-level hood who runs the place hired Yale as a salesman on a commission basis—no salary. They expected him to fail—the next step was driving one of the trucks.
Yale sat around for a day or two staring into space. Then he had a brainstorm. Mo has always kept his customer list up to date—it’s far more important than the list they actually sell. So Yale started calling some of the businesses on it, asking if any of them were moving.
Some weren’t happy to hear from him, but you know how real estate is in New York. In two weeks, Yale sold four pretty hefty contracts to factories with all kinds of heavy equipment and computers, and more were coming in as he also worked his father’s bankruptcy list. Of course, he had to go out on the jobs himself, wearing a helmet.
Relieved that the business was starting to show a pulse, Yale’s boss asked him to sell the used cars in the adjoining lot, some of which were on cement blocks or contained stolen parts. Yale was so good at that—nobody who entered the lot, or even passed on the street, escaped without buying a car.
And so, Yale enjoyed some success, probably the first in his entire life. He didn’t make much money by Hall standards, and the pittance he made Danny demanded for household expenses—“I’m sure you want to pay your own way,” she said. But he did receive one token of family esteem.
Hal Hall always bestows lavish gifts on his key employees during the holidays: Cadillacs, Aston Martins, custom yachts. And while Yale was way down the list, he did get a present: a 1985 Chevvy with a badly repaired fender. How do I know? He tried to sell it to me.
Note: Any resemblance between companies and persons is strictly coincidental, etc.
Previous Moss family misadventures: