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Friendship over the years

The history and origin of steak night 21 years this month. 


Over 22 years ago when I was President of Trademark Metals Recycling , TMR , we had approval to construct a $60 million shredding operation that was to be our flagship location at the Port of Tampa. 

At the time I had a very capable manager at the Port of Tampa, however, none of us had firsthand experience of building a plant of this magnitude. It was a complicated project involving the removal of one plant and the construction of another. The Tampa Mega Shredder was to be constructed in the same location. 

I had recently met Rob Barrow, a retired Marine colonel. It was clear that Rob had the logistics experience to assist in this project. This was before he started Capture, his current company. 

My challenge was to get my manager to hire Rob Barrow as a consultant. He had to be completely on board. Though the ultimate responsibility was mine, we all needed buy in! 


I learned a long time ago success has many fathers, but failure is a lonely child. 


All of our 8 General Managers were type A hard charging guys. Dan was no exception. 

Rob came on board and acted as the logistics manager coordinating the efforts of the mechanical, electrical , construction, and transportation engineering groups.


For me to get the necessary information on the plant’s construction progress, Rob and I agreed to have dinner every couple of weeks. 

Our first meeting was at Ciccio and Tony’s restaurant on Howard Avenue. The place was  crowded, noisy, and I learned that evening that Rob had a hearing issue. 


To make matters worse as I pulled into the parking lot driving a huge rental Escalade, I literally ran over some guys BMW sports car as I backed up in the lot. That poor guy went crazy. 


Needless to say, our first dinner meeting was a sh….t  show!


After dinner Rob suggested our next meeting would be at his house and he would “ burn” a steak! It would be quieter and less interruptions.

I believe our first meal consisted of a steak with Uncle Ben’s white rice. Politically incorrect today. It was just Rob and me.

This continued every several weeks for the 6-month construction project.

That’s how I stayed abreast of the real progress of our construction project. 

Rob did a stellar job! Our six-month project was completed in five months. We came in under time and under budget. The most magical and beautiful words for me and our parent company! Our project was a huge success 

All in all, we had to dismantle one shredder mark, load and ship on what was 100 flatbeds and ship to Salt Lake City. 

We had to install a new footer approximately twice the size of the one we replaced. We inbounded it over 160 tractor trailer loads of equipment for the construction. 

It was quite the endeavor, and it was TMR‘s flagship operation for my tenure as President. 

Everyone in our entire organization recognized Rob‘s efforts. He earned the respect from all of our engineering groups and our entire organization. Not an easy feat for an outsider. 

After the project was complete Rob and I continued our steak nights. Shortly after both Jay Singletary and Mack Carneal joined in. At the time Rob and Jay did not know each other. Later they discovered they were distant cousins. ( Louisiana , go figure ) 

Bill McClure rounded out our group who later moved to Fort Smith Arkansas.


Over the 21 years we have been doing steak night we have witnessed our lives unfold before each other.

There have been road trip steak nights to Louisiana and Bill‘s mountain cabin retreat in Arkansas. 


We have witnessed graduations, weddings, divorces, children’s weddings, the start of several new businesses, the breakup of girlfriends, the failed attempt at steak and date nights. 

And through all we have maintained our close friendships with each other.


Men typically don’t do a good job with this kind of connection.

Steak night has turned into a monthly ritual that we all cherish. And the menu has gotten significantly better over the years.

We have had many guests at steak night, but we have never expanded the core group beyond what is now as four. Mostly because we all enjoy entertaining and look forward to each doing it two or three times a year. 


Over the years we have covered so many subjects in conversation, many of them getting spirited but always in good spirit. 

Omg we even share recipes at times! 

Rob’s Marine friends would cringe at that disclosure . That may be the only secret leaked from this bond. 

We have watched our children grow up and start their own families and traditions. I even plan my travels around being here for Steak night. With few exceptions we all make it. 


Hopefully we continue for many years to come. We have done this  every month for 21 years tonight, and still going strong.  Here are few phots our once a month for 21 years Steak night  A group of men in a living room

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A group of people eating at a table

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A group of men sitting on a couch

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A group of people posing for a photo

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One night we were having Steak night at Rob’s. When the guys found out  my mother was in town we came back to my house to have dessert with her. She was so pleased and spoke of it often.

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