In my quest to interview the great man himself, Ed Roski Jr., I got passed off to the company’s official downtown spokesperson, their Senior Vice President of Corporate Development Fran Inman. Then they told me, Mr. Roski doesn’t give interviews.
Actually, the exact words were ‘slim to none,’ and ‘slim’ is enough of a chance for me. So, when Fran offered to meet me for lunch to talk, I accepted.
Here we are having lunch— me, Fran, and Stan (The Boss). My boss is chatting affably with her about how she came to Majestic Realty. She tells us that she met Mr. Roski through mutual friends at a tailgate party, while living and working in Nevada during the casino building days.
Stan talks a lot, which is great because I don’t. Fran asks about our business model and our writing style at Downtownster.
She asks us for the working definitions and benefits of various types of social media, blogging, and micro blogging, which she is becoming more familiar with these days. From time to time she jots things down in a small notebook. We’re having salads and pasta at a place called Boyd Street bar and grill. It’s Fran’s favorite.
“When I introduce myself to people and say, I work for Majestic Realty, they’re like…oh ok,” Fran Inman said, fresh from a week of attending meetings and conferences around downtown Los Angeles. “But when I tell them I work for Ed Roski, they’re like…oh, wow. They have a whole different attitude.”
Fran loves to answer questions we have about Ed Roski, but they are the same statements she gave me on the phone earlier. He has a brain like a Rubik’s cube, she tells us. His staff is in the habit of over-communicating with him. He remembers everything, and processes information at an alarming rate and volume. Yet, he’s a very humble man, and is willing to chat with anyone about just about anything and be genuinely interested in what they have to say.
Unless it’s an interview. Because he doesn’t give interviews, I’m reminded.
Which is a shame because someone who has been so instrumental in revitalizing downtown with the Staples Center development, who has known and can probably give opinions on the last five mayors that have come and gone, who is in the process of bringing the NFL back to LA, a Vietnam veteran with two purple hearts, one of the richest men in America, who’s name has been seen in the papers for the last decade on a regular basis—is a man that probably has a lot of useful things to say about this city, this economy, this country, and everything in between.
All I can think is, what a loss for us citizens to not have access to any of this man’s life experience or accumulated knowledge.
Well, ok, my rant is over. And so is our lunch, for that matter. I’m grateful Fran Inman took the time to meet with us, she was very gracious, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Literacy foundation she’s helping us get involved in.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to give you the interview I had hoped for, but you know sometimes you just have to take a loss.