Work Hard, Play Hard: Cliff Weaver and Jim Farley Chronicles

The Society of Exchange Counselors has a long, illustrious history as leaders in creative real estate, exchanging and counseling spanning 42 years. Throughout that history, S.E.C. members have always considered themselves as family and lived the “Work Hard, Play Hard” philosophy that is the hallmark of successful people everywhere.

Two founding S.E.C. members perhaps personify this philosophy best, Cliff Weaver and Jim Farley. Both have left our world and are now residents of S.E.C. Heaven but their presence remains in the hearts and minds of Society members and friends. Here are a few of stories about these larger than life men guaranteed to make you smile.

Weaver, Farley, and Las Vegas

Robbie Robinson, S.E.C. remembers the time years ago in Las Vegas during a weeklong meeting sponsored by Cliff Weaver and Bob Steele’s RENO magazine (the Real Estate News Observer).

“Cliff had invited a very prominent Lawyer to speak to the group on matters of law and taxation. The dignified speaker was well into his presentation when all of the sudden a huge Gorilla appeared on the stage, ran around making grotesque noises grabbed the speaker bent him over and gave him a great big juicy kiss. After which the Gorilla jumped off the stage ran into the audience and planted various kisses on several very alarmed screaming ladies in the audience and thereafter fled from the room.

Chaos ensued and it took sometime for the speaker and the audience to regain their composure. We afterwards learned that it had been Cliff Weaver who had gone to great lengths to obtain the best gorilla costume he could find and take the time to learn so convincingly the antics of that animal.

The whole show gave the audience quite a fright, not the mention the fact that the dignified speaker lost his composure completely and almost fainted away. I can still see that frightening but hilarious picture in my mind, but that was only one of many of Cliff antics…never a dull moment around that wonderful character.”

Bob Steele, S.E.C. recalls how “the next year Cliff hired (on their joint account) a fellow to streak the speaker. The room was so full that the aisles had chairs in them for extra seats and as the streaker came off the stage he had to thread his way up one of the aisles.”

Walt Futrup, S.E.C. and Jim Keller, S.E.C. both remember that same meeting in Las Vegas where former President Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy Carter (of “Billy Beer” fame) was also one of the guest speakers.

Walt recalls how “the meeting was rolling along when all of a sudden a streaker ran across the stage when Marv Starr, the preeminent real estate attorney of his time and long time friend of the Society, was the speaker. As the streaker ran past Marv he looked up, saw the streaker and never losing his composure said: ‘There goes a man who has the rest of his life to live down his shortcomings’.”

Walt remembers sitting next to Yvonne Nash, S.E.C. who was very busy taking notes. “She looked up just missing the streaker and asked what she had missed. When Walt explained to her what had happened, she threw down her pen and said in frustration, “I always miss the good stuff’.”

Jim Keller still chuckles about that day remembering how “Cliff had trouble finding a streaker that day so he gave a truck driver who was making deliveries to the hotel $100 for his services. As he streaked across the room he carried his clothes in a garbage sack over his shoulder.”

Weaver, Farley and “The Pendleton Roundup”

In the 1970s many S.E.C.’s made an annual trek to Jim Farley’s hometown of Pendleton, Oregon for the annual “Pendleton Round-up.” Here are a few memories that will bring a smile to your day.

Chet Allen, S.E.C. writes, “The Pendleton Round-up was one of the premier stops on the rodeo circuit, but that was not the main reason most of us made the Pendleton pilgrimage. The real reason was Jim and Norma Jean Farley.

Jim was always a bigger-than-life character, and those of us that visited him were convinced that he was the most popular man in Eastern Oregon. At the annual Round-up parade, he seemed to know everyone watching the parade, plus all of the parade participants.

The Farley’s always had good Round-up Rodeo seats for the S.E.C. buddies, but the real fun began later. In the Round-up Fairground complex the cowboy hangout was the “Let ‘er Buck Room.” This is where the calf-ropers, bull-doggers, bronc busters and bull riders congregated to drink and fight. On rodeo evenings, the huge Let ‘er Buck Room would be packed, not only with drunken cowboys, but with well endowed ladies, who could be coaxed to show how well, if properly encouraged (and appreciated). Into such an environment Jim relished introducing his citified S.E.C. friends to the drunken, and often ill-tempered, cowboys, in manners that could prove hazardous to our health. Two particular instances come to mind.

Bob Steele had just flown in from Newport Beach, wearing white shoes, and planning to change. Jim met him at the airport and after spotting the white shoes, insisted they go directly to the Let ‘er Buck Room, where he trolled Bob through the assembled inebriated cowboys in his Southern California beach garb. Jim was able to keep Bob out of harms way, but not without the desired effect.

Peter Hodgkinson, a slightly built S.E.C., formerly from Wales, with a thick British accent was trolled through the room, hardly able to see around the cowboys. Jim began introducing Peter to the hard-bodied bronc riders, as “This is someone you don’t want to mess with. He has a black belt in Karate.” Peter, turning white, assured the drunken riders, in his very British brogue, “Not true. I am merely a brown belt.”

Somehow, we all survived the Let ‘er Buck Room, but many of us fell prey to Norma Jean’s game skills. We needed to bring a full wallet to challenge her to Backgammon or Rummy Tiles.

In the mornings, we would congregate at the Farley’s home, where a badly hung-over, Jim would used his pick-up bed sized frying pan to prepare Rocky Mountain oysters and eggs. The Quistgards, Davis’, Steeles, Stewarts, Adams’, Kellers and dozens of other families made the annual trek to Pendleton, where we were treated to days of good food, intense partying, practical jokes, laughter, and warm friendship.”

Jim Keller, S.E.C. reminds us how Jim and Cliff were best friends. And, according to the Society’s historical archives, Cliff was never one to pass on the opportunity to play a little practical joke on his friends.

Keller remembers the time in Pendleton when Cliff and Donna Weaver, Bob and “Patty Perfect” Stampfli and Jim’s wife, “Maid Marion,” drove to the Pendleton Roundup in Jim’s motorhome; “Cliff had printed some “Wanted Posters” with Jim Farley’s photo that said, “Find Me and I’ll buy you a drink.” We snuck into town that evening and tacked up the wanted posters all over Pendleton before we headed over to the Farley homestead. That little trick ended up costing Jim a lot of money during the roundup. I’m still not sure if he ever discovered who put up all those wanted posters.”

These two colorful individuals, Cliff Weaver and Jim Farley, left behind a legacy for the future of the Society of Exchange Counselors that has served us well for more than four decades. Their memories also serve to remind us all to “Work Hard and Play Hard.”

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