Against all odds, automotive dealer and veteran Mike Shaw never quit


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — At any time since the early 1970’s, South Texans have gotten rather acquainted with his deal with a lot of have even procured cars from him.

But when I got the likelihood to sit down with automotive magnate Mike Shaw, I realized much more about the man or woman guiding all of those people televised car or truck deals.

Shaw’s daily life is crammed with spectacular ups and downs that would very easily crush a mere mortal.

“I by no means stop,” mentioned a really serious Shaw for the duration of a recent 3-hour interview with me at his family members household in School Station a couple blocks absent from his beloved Texas A&M University.

Shaw is patriotic, down to Earth, and undoubtedly no-nonsense.

“There is only one particular answer: no justification, sir,” reported Shaw, sternly.

In all his 75 yrs, he in no way designed excuses and by no means gave up when, time following time, he could have quickly accomplished so.

Just take the time in the 1960’s, when a not too long ago married Shaw, a distinguished navy graduate, delayed his entry into Vietnam by finding out for and earning his MBA from A&M.

He also was expecting his very first little one with his wife, Nancy.

“My spouse bought expecting and, at that time, if you — if they have been pregnant, they wouldn’t send out you to Vietnam,” recalled Shaw. “It was sort of an unwritten regulation.”

Then the bottom dropped out.

“‘She (Nancy) lost the baby at seven months, and 30 times later, I experienced orders to go to Vietnam,” Shaw reported. “It was kind of a bam, bam — actually tricky time for us.”

It didn’t get greater. Shaw remembers his sendoff on the West Coast by some of his fellow Individuals.

“When I still left the region and I exited in Washington state, they had been throwing tomatoes at us,” Shaw claimed.

When he arrived on the battlefield, his war practical experience was jarring.

“The worst working day of my everyday living,” remembered Shaw. “For all those who have ever absent into a war zone, it truly is the unfamiliar — you have no notion. The full time you are there you happen to be stating God just allow me get this performed and get household.”

A year right after returning house, Shaw faced a new obstacle on the homefront, trying to get a position in the motor vehicle business enterprise.

It would just take a fellow A&M alum and All-American Tommy Vaughn to offer you him a automobile gross sales supervisor position in Houston.

Shaw’s prosperous reputation there obtained the awareness of a member of the H-E-B grocery loved ones, who owned car or truck dealerships in Corpus Christi.

Shaw required his very own small business, but he didn’t have the money. So he figured out a prepare.

“We (Shaw and the H-E-B proprietors) invested the weekend with them in Rockport,” he stated. “Next matter you know, Oct ’73, we had been in Corpus and they gave me sweat equity of 4 per cent a 12 months if I stayed 5 decades. So I reported ‘Yes.” The relaxation is record. I was there over from ’73 to ’88.”

Shaw would develop an automotive empire of motor vehicle dealerships, but, eventually, it all crashed down around him through the 1980s oil bust.

Shaw dropped it all. He was broke.

He took on a typical-supervisor work at a further motor vehicle dealership. His shell out was finally cut.

His spouse, Nancy, would do the job overnight shifts as a nurse just to assistance the family of 3 make ends satisfy.

“I didn’t acquire a working day off for five decades,” Shaw said, with dedication in his voice. “You know, I just sucked it up. Nancy sucked it up. We did what we had to do.”

At 43 yrs outdated, Shaw was beginning over.

“It was difficult on the little ones, difficult on the entire loved ones, and we ended up there (at the dealership) for five several years, and then I started off around at 48 in Denver.

A tenacious Shaw under no circumstances gave up. He came up with a strategy to use the fairness of his Texas household to invest in a new Denver Subaru vehicle dealership.

And after all over again, Shaw would create back again his automotive empire. It even integrated two shops in Corpus Christi the same town the place he at first lost all the things.

“It was difficult to go away Corpus Christi,” said Shaw. “You have friends — mates that you have when you did you start making when you’re 25, and up you go by means of all the things you go through with your children. Which is property. Corpus was truly property for us. “

Shaw ended up soaring to the top rated once more. He was even named Time Journal North The us Dealer of the Yr. His comeback was seemingly full.

But then, some thing else was looming that could have taken Shaw down for fantastic — Cancer. Two times bladder and prostate.

“It’ll get your attention, and you hear the “C” phrase,” Shaw explained. “The following point you hear “C,” you listen to demise. You know, it scares the residing hell out of you.”

Towards the odds a single extra time, Shaw refused to accept defeat.

“I have been most cancers-absolutely free at any time considering that,” said Shaw.

Religion, family members, and main values that he figured out as an Aggies cadet and Vietnam veteran aided him endure and prosper.

In the “final” chapter of his everyday living, Shaw feels so blessed to have get over the odds. Now, the philanthropist vows to carry on to give again in large means — to his neighborhood and veterans teams.

That features generous donations to Driscoll Children’s Healthcare facility and MD Anderson (wherever he gained his cancer remedy), 4-H and the Nueces County Livestock application, and far more to veterans situations and systems.

His most recent gift is to our KRIS 6 Flag for a Flag marketing campaign.

Shaw introduced past year’s Subject of Honor function to Corpus Christi a patriotic perseverance to fallen armed forces users.

For five many years running, Shaw’s Turkeys for Troops method has fed hundreds of our veterans and their households in need to have.

A lot more Veterans In Aim stories are accessible listed here, together with assets for community veterans.

Make contact with Veterans In Emphasis reporters: Greg Chandler at [email protected] and Pat Simon at [email protected]


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