Berkshire Hathaway shareholder Curtis Joe Walker was back at the jamboree again this year, bringing Warren Buffett straight to you. Here are his stories.
The Berkshire tradeshow is another unique feature of the self proclaimed "Woodstock of Capitalism." On display as pure eye candy was a 1935 Duesenberg SJ553, a one of a kind land yacht belonging to Paul Andrews of the TTI subsidiary, but originally owned by Mrs. Forrest Mars, Sr., parent and grandparent to BRK's new partners in the Wrigley purchase.
Clayton Homes had a brand new model of modular housing dubbed "iHouse." Previously manufacturing only traditional style mobile homes, the iHouse offers a new style along with new materials that are less toxic to build and live with. Energy savings is part of the package too, with energy efficient windows and a solar roof option. It's something new, and might usher in a whole new class of greenneck prairiebillies. The 1 bed, 1 bath house can be expanded to 3 beds and two baths and is completely configurable through their website.
In addition to the company booths, Berkshire sets up a couple of its own vendor areas hawking memorabilia and books. In the past, the bookstore was a crowded nightmare of popularity, but a new design and location allowed for easy access to the myriad books on sale at discounted prices.
Not every Berkshire company is represented on the floor, but nearly every booth present had something for sale, with the proceeds going to charity. Rather than giving away ice cream bars for free, Dairy Queen sold thousands of them for $1 each. Geico was on hand to write up insurance policies at a special shareholder rate. Ginsu had smokin' deals on their line of not-TSA-Approved products. Justin Boots had their usual shoestore, and Fruit of the Loom was mobbed by underwear aficionados as usual, though nobody was wandering around wearing nothing but cowboy boots and underpants. Maybe next year.
--Curtis Joe Walker, a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder