6 Alas! within a year of the writing of this he went from us. 鈥楢nd the bedside where you had been before?鈥?asked Alice. 浙江福彩3d试机号 "We always worked in the stores. I would sweep the floors and carry boxes after school, and evenmore in the summer. I remember just barely having a driver's license and driving a truckload ofmerchandise one night up to that Ben Franklin in Saint Robert, which we all knew to be the best BenFranklin in the world. In those days, we all got an allowance too, and it was less than some of ourfriends. I don't know that we particularly felt deprived, but we didn't have a lot of money. Dad wasalwaysfrugal is probably a good word for it. But he always let us invest in those stores, and I had aninvestment in that Saint Robert store so I came out real well on that. It paid for my house and variousotherDad would call themextravagances."I guess the kids thought of themselves as slave labor back then, but we didn't work them that hard. Wejust taught them the value of work. And besides, I needed the helpat the store and at home. I didn'thave time to mow the lawn, and why should I anyway, with three strapping boys and a healthy girlavailable for chores. And it wasn't all work. Helen and I made it a point to take the whole family out andspend time traveling or camping together. Sometimes the kids thought of these trips as forced marches,but I think that time we spent together has had a lot to do with our close relationship as a family today. 鈥業 think so. As you said to me the other day, sir, good work is always cheap in comparison with bad work.鈥? The Saturday morning meeting is where we discuss and debate much of our philosophy and ourmanagement strategy: it is the focal point of all our communications efforts. It's where we share ideaswe've picked up from various places. And while it's not the most exciting part of the meeting, sometimesI like to read from management articles that pertain to our business. Two of our executives, WesleyWright and Colon Washburn, seem to read just about everything there is in the way of managementliterature, and they're constantly calling useful articles or books to my attention. At the meeting, we'll talkabout competitors, specifically, but also in general. For example, we'll spend ten minutes talking abouthow Wal-Mart can compete successfully with all the good specialty retailers coming onto the scene. It'soften the place where we first decide to try things that seem unattainable. And instead of everybodyshouting it down right away, we try to figure out how to make it work. That's exactly how I ended updancing the hula on Wall Street, by making that bet at a Saturday morning meeting. And, as embarrassingas it was to have to dance on Wall Street, believe me, achieving a pretax profit of more than 8 percent,when most everybody else in the retail industry averages about half that, made it well worth the red face. In addition to a lot of educational institutions, recipients of Walton family gifts include church groups andcommunity projects like zoos and libraries and recreation facilities. We support hospitals and medicalresearch programs. We fund arts groups and theater groups and symphonies. We give to conservationand environmental causes and veterans' groups, as well as to economic development groups and freeenterprise groups. We support public schools and private schools. Since charity almost always begins athome, many of the recipients are in the communities or at institutions to which Helen and I, or ourchildren, have personal ties. But we have also supported national organizations and even a few localcauses of national importance in such cities asNew YorkandWashington. Helen has been actively, andpublicly, supportive of a number of institutions, including the Presbyterian Church, the University of theOzarks, and theNationalMuseumfor Women in the Arts. And I have supported such groups as theCitizens Against Government Waste, Students in Free Enterprise, and the Arkansas BusinessCouncilwhich folks around here insist on calling "The Good Suit Club."We also have some pet projects to which Helen and I together are strongly, and personally, committed. But now I'd like to explain some of my attitudes about moneyup to a point. After that, our financeslikethose of any other normal-thinking American familyare nobody's business but our own. No questionabout it, a lot of my attitude toward money stems from growing up during a pretty hardscrabble time inour country's history: the Great Depression. And this heartland area we come from out hereMissouri,Oklahoma,Kansas,Arkansaswas hard hit during that Dust Bowl era. I was born in Kingfisher,Oklahoma, in 1918 and lived there until I was about five, but my earliest memories are ofSpringfield,Missouri,where I started school, and later of the littleMissouritown ofMarshall. After that, we lived in Shelbina,Missouri, where I started high school, and still later Columbia, where I finished high school and went onto college.