Natalia spent her free time chasing or flirting with boys whenever she wasn’t roaming the community with those of her friends who still remained. Oft times, she could be found at the baseball field watching the boys practice or at the malt shop spying on all the older boys. Yet, she was never alone. She was always surrounded by her little group of friends as she chattered, enamored, about each boy her eye fell upon.
Shasta, on the other hand, remained at home. She preferred her books to boys and being a homebody to being into mischief. Her grades in school showed as much. She was an ‘A’ student where Nattie kept less than stellar grades.
Growing from child to teen seemed hardest for Nattie. Shasta saw it as a time to grow in mind as well. It was a time to change in mind and body for her. Nattie, on the other hand, felt that her emotions, her hormones, were the only thing that needed growth. Shasta only shook her head at her sister’s choices. She knew that they would end up getting her sister into trouble.
Shasta was more interested in what her future might hold. She saw learning as a way to continue the family’s legacy. The more she knew, the more able she would be to take lead in the family company. Even at ten, Shasta was planning for her life as an adult, something Nattie still refused to do.
Valeria watched as her daughters chose different paths. Funny how twins could be so different in tastes while being so similar in appearance. She marveled at how even their taste in clothing was different. Nattie was into popular fashion, while Shasta was more into modesty in dress. While Nattie tried to be the movie star, Shasta remained less enamored with appearance or popularity.
Even their temperaments were different. Nattie was the eternal show-off, while Shasta remained an introvert. Valeria had a hard time believing that they could be so different. Whatever happened to twins being alike? No matter. She loved them both.
Michael, her husband, didn’t care what the differences between his daughters were. He simply loved them for who they were. They were his pride and joy. They were the reason he continued his fight against the French family.
In the past year, he had gained over half of Toffer’s staff as allies. Once Frank had crossed over, the line began to grow. Now, French Industries ran at only half capacity, turning out only one tenth their original output. The staff had shrunk radically, due to lack of payment, and the quality-though questionable at the beginning of this fight-was now well below standard. Not that Toffer’s client base cared about the quality.
Most of those who bought from Toffer cared less about quality. Slum lords. Builders of substandard housing. Misers who didn’t care about replacing carpets and draperies every year. Or the furnishings that the company made.
But Morrow Mill Works was known for their impeccable quality. They were known for the best. Their customers came first. And their reputation showed it.
Honesty had become key to doing business. There was no cutting corners. Nor did they accept substandard materials. Everything was quality, from the materials put into the products to the products themselves. No one had ever complained of shoddy workmanship or products.
Beyond that, all of Morrow’s customers loved how the company treated them. There was no color barrier. No preferential treatment. No back stabbing.
Everyone was treated as if they were a part of the family. From the biggest CEO to the most average of citizens. It did not matter. When you bought from Morrow, you became family.
It was this system of honor that Toffer found both admirable and offensive. He had never figured out how to do clean business. Perhaps that was why he had to remain the supplier to the worst kind of customers. Between dirty business and dirty politics, the French family had become synonymous with corruption at its worst.
Not so with the Morrow and Venechek families. Both families were known for impeccable, almost brutal, honesty. They had earned every ounce of respect they were given. The Venecheks were a simple Jewish family who’d immigrated in attempts to flee from tyranny only to find tyranny in the US had another form: the Mc Carran Act.
The Morrows, on the other hand, had been a part of America since its very beginning. They had come across on the Mayflower. They had fought in the Revolution, leading the way as generals. They had fought to free slaves during the Civil War. And they had built Morrow Mill Works as one of the first major industries In the fledgling country after it had won its freedom.
Even more, they had given the first French patriarch a place in the company. And three generations had worked in the company until one actually rose to be on the board. By World War I, the final member of the French family to work for the Morrows stormed out of the company vowing to destroy Morrow Mill Works.
But the Morrows continued on. And their reputation grew. Michael could remember when his father turned the company into a Bomber factory for World War II. He smiled. They had always shown their patriotism.
He remembered how long it took to turn the company back into a mill works. Seemed to take forever. Still, they got it done and returned to business as usual. And the downtime really didn’t do much damage to their reputation or their revenue. Even though his father had not done his duty for sake of money, their assets seemed to grow.
By ’49, when he took over the company, they were no longer just worth millions. They had become worth billions. And so it had been with the company. Even though the mill works had begun in Boston, it had grown to include several mills across the US and had gone international.
Of course, some of the business overseas had been there before the American portion, so they merely became a part of Morrow Industries. It had gone from simple mills to a company that had different divisions. And Michael only oversaw one cog in a giant machine.