Thursday, September 27, 2007

In Memory of Arthur Jones

In the past three days, I have collected more than 7,000 words about Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus equipment, through interviews with his friends, colleagues and business associates. I've also read more than 20 pages of notes and surfed dozens of websites to find out more about this eccentric millionaire who was ahead of his time in so many ways.

His colleagues have described him as charismatic, determined, honest, intelligent and intimidating. I'd never heard of Arthur until after he died at 80 years of age this past August 28, but he seems like someone I would have liked to have known.

His intolerance for stupidity, as described by one of his closer friends, clinched it for me. Arthur was a great teacher, several interview subjects reported, but he had no tolerance for people with no desire or capacity to learn. About the only time he'd lose his temper was when he was trying to explain one of his concepts of physiology--why Nautilus equipment works--to someone who was just... NOT... GETTING... IT.

Wow, as an editor, I can relate. And I'll be nice now, so as not to hurt the feelings of blossoming writers whose stories I have rejected in not very nice ways. :)

But my favorite story about Arthur Jones was reported by Joe Cirulli, President & Owner of Gainesville Health & Fitness. Apparently, Arthur was trying to explain his new workout machines to someone who just wasn't getting it. "You're stupid!" Arthur said. "I'm sorry for saying it, but don't blame me. I didn't make you stupid. God made you stupid!"

How many times have I *wished* I could say that to someone?

But you know what they say...when you're a millionaire and do unusual things, you're eccentric. If you're middle class and do the same things, you're just crazy!

Additional amusing anecdotes about Arthur will be appearing in a feature article in a future issue of Club Business International, authored by Editor-in-Chief Craig Waters.


Mags said...

I would like to be able to purchase that kind of candor! How relaxing!

Sounds like you're doing the work for a worthy tribute. Have at it.

Good bloggin'.

Rhonda said...

Great stuff! I'm going to have to come back often -- your profile and the stuff you write about is right up my alley, so to speak. I could learn something from you! Glad you're here! (fellow AW subscriber)