Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. 6

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Foreword

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pp. vii-x

FEW PEOPLE have had more impact on this part of Texas than the Kruse family of Brenham. Led by Edward and Howard, the Kruses have shown for decades that success in business and success in life are mutually...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

DOROTHY MCLEOD MACINERNEY is probably the most unlikely person to be listed as the author of this book. Yes, she wrote the words down and composed them, but the people who contributed significant information and...

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One: Each of us was put on Earth for some good reason.

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pp. 1-8

THE FUEL GAUGE READ empty. Nevertheless, Tom insisted that his Piper PA-31P continue its flight to Presidio, Texas, with its cargo of six men and hundreds of pounds of frozen fish. Sitting in the copilot’s seat, Ed. F. Kruse...

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Two: Work hard—the harder you work, the luckier you get.

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pp. 9-18

EDWARD FRED KRUSE was born on March 15, 1928, in Brenham, Texas. He was named for his father Eddie Fritz Kruse but was not a “junior” because of the Anglicisation of his father’s German name. Throughout their lives, the...

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Three: Be prepared.

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pp. 19-24

IN 1941, ED KRUSE turned 13 years old, and already the halcyon days of his youth were behind him. E. F. decided that his sons needed to prepare for the real world. Beginning that June, he required Ed and Howard to work...

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Four: You can whip almost any problem if you work hard enough and long enough.

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pp. 25-32

IN ORDER TO STRIKE BACK at Emperor Hirohito for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and to reverse Adolph Hitler’s efforts to take over Europe, the United States declared war. Consequently, every American was...

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Five: Set goals and work toward them.

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pp. 33-40

TO LEAVE A LOVING, calm home and arrive as a freshman on the campus of Texas A&M University was about as much of a culture shock as any young man could experience. First, Ed Kruse was the only student from Brenham...

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Six: Think ahead.

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pp. 41-47

ED HAD ALREADY ASSUMED that he would spend at least two years in the US Army, because that’s what graduates from Texas A&M committed to do. In May 1949, Ed went to Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, for summer...

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Seven: Do not compromise your principles.

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pp. 48-52

ED’S NEW DUTIES at Blue Bell as a route supervisor were very similar to those he had been performing for Swift in Fort Worth. His territory included the rural area north of Brenham. It stretched northward to Marlin and...

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Eight: Integrity is not negotiable.

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pp. 53-59

ED KRUSE OFTEN SAID that the two best decisions he ever made in his business life were to come back to work at Blue Bell and to step into his father’s shoes as head of the company. Midway through 1952, his first full year as...

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Nine: Keep things in perspective.

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pp. 60-67

WHEN ED KRUSE BEGAN his tenure as manager at Blue Bell Creameries in 1951, the company employed thirty-five people, eight of whom worked chiefly with butter or received cream at the plant or at various stations in...

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Ten: Aptitude is important, but so is attitude.

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pp. 68-76

WHY IN THE WORLD would Ed Kruse decide to take on the big ice cream companies in Houston, Texas? The answer is that there was simply nowhere else Blue Bell could grow. As 1960 arrived, the company’s sales territory...

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Eleven: Work, don’t worry.

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pp. 77-81

WHILE JOHN BARNHILL led the consolidation of sales in Houston, which was 70 miles east of Brenham, an opportunity suddenly appeared in Austin, 90 miles west of Brenham. Chester Brooks, who owned Lily Fresh Ice...

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Twelve: Maintain a sense of humor.

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pp. 82-88

WHILE HOWARD’S FAMILY was just getting started, Ed and Evelyn had a houseful of teens and preteens. With school activities, sports, church youth groups, scouting, and more, the Kruse family was often going in many...

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Thirteen: Don’t assume. (It makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”)

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pp. 89-97

ALTHOUGH THE ED KRUSE FAMILY was contently settled in their new spacious home on Gun and Rod Road, the little creamery in Brenham was bursting at the seams. Howard could not discover any additional space on the...

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Fourteen: Do what you say you’re going to do.

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pp. 98-105

THE STORY GOES that one of the Blue Bell sales team was in Florida on vacation. He had extra time at the airport so he wandered into an ice cream shop, where one of the combinations available was crushed bits of Oreo...

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Fifteen: It’s a cinch by the inch, hard by the yard.

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pp. 106-114

IN 1980 BLUE BELL had four branches outside of Brenham. All of them— Houston, Austin, Beaumont, and Dallas—were in Texas. Twenty years later, the little creamery in Brenham featured thirty-four branches in...

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Sixteen: Few people have original thoughts, so it’s wise to take ideas from others and put them together.

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pp. 115-122

AS ED BEGAN to step back from hands-on management of Blue Bell, he had time to focus more sharply on other aspects of his life. His children were all launched into successful careers, and even grandchildren were being...

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Seventeen: If you can do some good, do it now.

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pp. 123-130

ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE Ed’s pride on May 1, 2004, as Paul W. Kruse became the third generation of the family to lead Blue Bell. Paul, almost 50 years old, married to Barbara “Babs” McMartin from Beaman, Iowa, and the...

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Eighteen: Thank people who have helped you.

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pp. 131-138

LIKE A WEDDING BAND, Ed and Evelyn Kruse came full circle. They were the only two living at home. Their marriage was stronger than ever. Ed loved Evelyn more every day...

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Afterword: It’s good to be humble.

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pp. 139-140

ED. F. KRUSE died on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, shortly before this book went to print. God must have finally decided that there was no more left for him to do...

Appendix One: Edisms

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pp. 141-142

Appendix Two: In Ed’s Own Words

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pp. 143-152

Appendix Three: An Ed. F. Kruse and Blue Bell Creameries Time Line

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pp. 153-162

Appendix Four: Facts You May Not Know About Ed. F. Kruse

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pp. 163-166

Sources

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pp. 167-180

Index

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pp. 181-189

Back Cover

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