In 1977, I came across a dilemma many graduating high schoolers face, the parting of friendships as some go away to college and others to begin their adult lives. How do you keep friends close when such forces try to tear you apart? As the graduations happened and summer began, this question laid heavy on my mind. My small group of friends tried to stay together by stringing a series of parties together throughout the summer. On August 17, 1977, in an ongoing joke about forming our own companies at a party, a friend, Brian Brady, and I joined forced forces to create “KBGB Enterprises”. The “k” and “g” came from my name and of course, the “b” and “b” from Brian’s name. Brian always felt that “BKBG” was a better choice for the name but I pointed out quickly that if you gave number values to the letters (K=1, B=2, G=3 and B=4), he was clearly getting the advantage because 6 was greater than 4-- besides, “KBGB” was easier to say.
Friends quickly joined the “company” carrying such titles as “executive” and “director” while Brian and I became “co-Presidents”. Parties became known as "events" (and there wre many of them).
A year passed and I soon realized that KBGB could be something more than an ongoing joke. It could be that elusive bond I had been looking for to keep friendships together, but it had to be handled carefully. In becoming adults, many forces would try to drive us apart. So I decided on a basic club "Mission" statement. KBGB's goal was to get together with friends, and enjoy each others' friendship. Treat everyone respectfully and as equals. Period. No agendas, no religion, no politics.
Surprisingly, that formula worked pretty well for over 20 years when finally I subcombed to weariness in defending those principles and gave up. To be fair, I was far from model citizen on those standards some times, but I liked to think I learned from my mistakes where I might have been less respectful and more iron-fisted, and did it better the next time.