Kenny has always had a lot of company pride. He likes all of his machines looking good and clean. Everything needs to be ship-shape in the world of Kenny Lewis.
He enjoys having his company name on jackets and caps. He spends a lot of advertising bucks and it pays off for him. You could see people wearing them often around town, putting the CCI out in the public.
Kenny and I had an arraignment for about a decade that lasted until 2003. We pooled resources and CCI was the name that was in the forefront of the business. Advertising was good so all of his people as well as all of my people all wore CCI caps and jackets. When times changed and we decided both of our situations would be better to part ways, we carefully planned how to re-brand the companies and make a smooth transition.
Within days everywhere you went in Austin a guy or gal was sporting a red CCI cap. Seemed like pretty good exposure to me. Not that I had anything to do with them handing out the caps, please understand.
There were a few boxes of caps leftover that were sitting in my office. One day I think a couple of my guys got a box each of the caps started handing them out to the homeless people around Austin. If you have ever been around Austin you know that panhandling is very commonplace.
When Kenny drove through the city and saw my all those caps, my phone started ringing. “You think you’re pretty damn funny don’t you Ronnie Gene Lewis”. When he gets serious, he will add my middle name when addressing me.
Of course me not knowing anything about what he was referring to, I said “Ken, what’s going on”?
“You know &@$%#^^#}¥€>>, he said.
He was truly ticked off, only like Kenny Lewis can be ticked off. He didn’t like that kind of exposure. That wasn’t helpful for business.
My denials fell on deaf ears. He was convinced I was behind it. Why would he ever even think I could have been a party to something like that? That was too mean spirited for me to have done to my own brother, wouldn’t you say?
During the conversation I think he hung up on me a time or two. “Calm down Kenny, can’t you just go around town with a pocket full of tens, and buy them back” was what I suggested. That suggestion was not helpful.
I finally figured shutting up would serve me best for awhile. I didn’t hear from him for a couple of days and then he called to explain his plan for retaliation. He was going to order a few boxes of black Lewis Contractors caps and go around and swap them for his red caps. I told him “that’s fine with me, I would love for the people of Austin to know that I’m willing to help the homeless population”.
I even sent the LC logo digital file over so he would have a leg up on getting the caps made.
I guess he thought better of his idea, because in never saw any of my caps on Austin street corners.
The red ones started disappearing and soon until there wasn’t one in site. Rumor has it that a few of them were forcible taken from the people around town, but I have no proof of it.
All these years later I’m still not admitting that I had anything to do with any of it. If I was involved, I was only trying to help him advertise.