My accountant for several years back in the early days was a fellow by the name of GK Worley. He had been employed by HH “Pete” Coffield over in Rockdale for a number of years.
There were many good stories that Worley told me from his time there. The following one being typical of those stories.
Mr. Coffield had many business venture throughout the years. If he thought he could make money at something he wouldn’t hesitate to jump in. The town of Rockdale needed another motel, so he went to work opening up one on the eastern edge of town. He named it the Holiday Motel.
It didn’t take long for the Holiday Inn Corporation to file suit and get cease and desist order to shut the business down. They were highly offended that Coffield was trying to capitalize off of their good name and reputation.
Mr. Coffield called Worley into his office seeking his counsel on the matter. “How could they think we are trying to copy them“, the old man ask? Worley said “probably when you had me go all over county finding Holiday Inns and taking pictures of them may be why our motel looks so much like a Holiday Inn.
Coffield had his attorney work out an agreement for them to change the name to something generic, perhaps like The Deluxe Motel, so they could continue to operate.
Later on he told Worley “who would have thought Holiday Inn would ever have noticed us here in Rockdale, Texas”?
For years I’d have to smile when I drove past that place, it looking just like so many Holiday Inns in small towns everywhere. I went through there today and could no longer identify where it was. I guess it has since been torn down.