After graduating in June, 1946, I joined the Foreign Service as a Diplomatic Courier. For six months I traveled in South America and then I was stationed in Paris, where I traveled in Europe and Northwest Africa for the next 18 months. I left the Foreign Service and went to the University of Stockholm for a year. While there I married an American woman I had met in Berlin while a courier.
I knew I wanted, if possible, to go into my own business. While in Stockholm I found some Swedish products that I thought were very salable in the United States. I contacted my former roommate, Bob Howard (Am. 45), his brother, John, (Am. 49), and together we founded Holt Howard Associates, dealing with the Christmas decorations trade.
Between 1949 and 1969 we built this importing company into one of the best-known giftwares companies in the U.S. After starting in Christmas decorations we branched out into housewares, innovative new items and lines with dramatic new ideas. We sold our products in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. In 1969 we sold our company to General Housewares, an NYSE corporation, and in 1974, after completing our five-year management contract, John Howard and I left to set up a new housewares marketing company called Grant-Howard Associates. This new company forged sales and marketing agreements with U.S. manufacturers and foreign suppliers. In 1986 I retired.
On a more personal note, my first wife, Reid, and I had two children-a son, Craig, and a daughter, Lezley. They have both grown up, married, and had worthwhile lives. After a long battle with cancer, Reid died in early 1980. Several years later I married a second very wonderful woman, Carter Houck. While I had spent most of my married life living in the Stamford, Darien, and Wilton areas of Connecticut, when I retired we decided to move to the Catskills and enjoy the rural life. This we have done for the past 10 years. Living in the country where there is lots of snow, a long winter, and beautiful short summers is a lot different from suburban living. We have enjoyed this very much, but we are looking for a change. I am sure for the 55th I will be writing you from another location.