REGINALD CALLISON

in my own words...

Reginald CallisonAs the oldest boy in my family, I've always had lots of responsibility put on my shoulders.  Father always pushed me to excel in everything that I did.  He would push me to do my best in both sports and school.  Luckily for me, I always seemed to be good at both.  I always knew from a very early age that, since I was the oldest, I was expected to one day take over our family business.  Callison Publications was started by my great-grandfather and he built it into one of the strongest and most profitable mid-sized publishing companies in the nation.  When he died, my father took over.  When my father dies, it will be my turn.  Unfortunately, I've never really had that much interest in publishing.

I always wanted to be a doctor.  I remember pouring over the volumes of books that my parents kept in our library.  The medical books with their various pictures of anatomy and descriptions of different ailments were my favorite.  Father appreciated my desires to become a doctor, but he told me that it would never happen.  As the oldest son, it was my  duty to go into the family business and lead our family into the future when my time came.  We argued often about my plans for the future.  He told me I had no choice and I'd have to honor my obligations just as he had to when he was my age.  Apparently, my father wasn't too interested in the family business either when he was young.  However, being left an only child when his older brother died forced him into the role of heir to my great-grandfather's dreams.  From what I've seen, he's more than succeeded.

Father has always seemed nearly obsessed with the business and with our family.  I could tell that things weren't always perfect between Mother and Father, but they were always a loving couple.  They seem to compliment each other perfectly.  Father would be the task master who would challenge each of us to do our best and bring honor to our family, while Mother would be the one who told is it was alright to fail as long as we did our best.  Failure never seemed to be an option to my father.  I never really understood why he worked so hard and became so driven.

I went to Harvard, just as my father wanted, and worked toward the business degree that he wanted me to have.  There, I discovered exactly what being a Callison meant.  Girls would find out I was destined to take over Callison Publications and they would come out of the woodwork.  Father said that they had dollar signs in their eyes and I should be careful about giving me heart to one who was unworthy of the Callison name.  He shouldn't have worried.  Of course, I dated around and played the field.  I was a young man, after all.  If some girl thought that by getting close to me she had a shot at becoming Mrs. Callison, who was I to discourage her?  I loved all the attention.  Granted, it's not nearly as bad as it seemed.  Things got too serious between me and Lana Richards and she started talking about marriage.  I quickly put a stop to that!  She was devastated when I told her I wouldn't marry her.  We split up soon after that.  Sure, Lana was fun, but she wasn't the type of girl Father would have wanted in the family.  I graduated with honors and came home to take the position in the company that my father had set aside for me.

Thanks to my mother, I've always had a love of writing and literature.  I think she worked to instill that in all of her children.  Father had purchased the local newspaper and when I returned home, he made me editor-in-chief.  He said that I needed to learn our company from the ground up and it would be good training  for me.  It was hard to get adjusted, at first, but soon I found myself loving my work.  I got to join the family business and work in journalism at the same time.  It was like the best of both worlds.  When I wasn't working to follow in my father's footsteps, I was entertaining the ladies.

When I started dating Helen, I didn't realize how much it would change my life.  Helen was a vapid, flighty girl who always seemed to be flitting from one topic to another.  I'm not sure she ever had an intelligent conversation in her entire life.  She was a lot of fun, though.  Her light manner helped me forget all the stress of my job.  I knew that our relationship would never go any where, but it was fun.  Helen was a sorority girl at Albanyville University and she would take me to all kinds of dances as her escort.  It seemed to me as if she were showing me off.  I think I was more of an accessory to her than a boyfriend.  It was at one of these dances that I met Jillian.  Jillian was one of Helen's sorority sisters and she was breathtaking.  She had a crown of blonde hair and such a delicate, lady like manner.  I could tell she was well raised.  Father would appreciate a girl like her.

We got to know each other while Helen and I continued to see one another.  When Helen finally decided to move on to another guy who had caught her eye, I had to ask Jillian out.  She was hesitant at first because she and Helen were such good friends, but soon Jillian told me that Helen didn't mind.  We started dating and grew closer as the months went on.  Despite my efforts to avoid it, I found myself falling in love with her.  She was perfect...beautiful, intelligent, from a well-to-do family in New York...  She's the perfect girl to spend the rest of my life with.  Both Father and Mother approve of her and I know that she's just the right girl to bring into the family.  Now, if I can just stop my eye from wandering.  I love Jillian very much, but I'm still a little nervous about settling down.  Oh well, I'll deal with it.  After all, I've already  bought the ring.

March, 1935