FORTitude FW Where Stories Never Die

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Alexander Chandler - Family Historian

Alexander Chandler – Family Historian/Storyteller

Alexander Chandler comes to Fortitude with some unbelievable stories. Chandler, long time FW realtor, has a family tree like you won’t believe. Beginning with Robert the Bruce to arriving in America in 1498 to George Washington’s sister to the founders of San Antonio, you gotta hear this. One of the largest cattle ranches in Texas, doing business with Pancho Villa, founding Steeplechase, Rivercrest, and FW Boat Club, Chandler’s family ties are as thick as the brush that once adorned Tarrant County. We’ve only scratched the surface here so please sit down, crack open a cold one, and hear this!!

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Episode Transcription: 

roxo media house
come back everyone our fortitude that character there Britain Payne J.W Wilson brought to you
by our friends at cap Tech spank are we really doing this I mean that really that’s it that was such a do you want to
get your uh you want to get your surfing and pedal steel comments out of the way before we start Alex do you have any
questions about those things for me right now or is it your interview today what is the pedal steal I play pedal
steel oh you don’t even know what it is it’s okay don’t give me no is this like pickleball with roller skates yeah pretty close the voice you’re hearing is
one Alexander Chandler thank you for coming to the show on 42 we really appreciate the time you sir have an
amazing story which we’re going to go through tonight it’s almost too good to be true at times and I know it’s true
because you’ve told me many times and I’ve I’ve known you for a while has it been the same each time it’s never
changed it’s never changed you’re not going to believe what this guy’s knows it’s incredible Alexander 26 years of
realtor here in Fort Worth had a company he’s now an Alexander Advisory Group doing something different but the guy’s
been around he’s got a family tree that is way past anything you I’ve could ever speak to but we are great we’re glad
grateful to have you here man uh 1968 born in Austin uh you got here as quick as you could but your story is way
longer than that so let’s get to the very gist of it tell us how your family first started and where they came from
when our family first started uh and in 1620 in the United States which was uh
Nicholas martu whose great grand whose daughter married George Washington okay
and the President George Washington the president he had George Washington uh no
George Reed was George Washington’s grandfather and George Washington’s
sisters my great great great great great grandmother yes but it goes even further than that
my great-grandmother when she fell off a horse uh about the turn of the century
did all the research and researched our family all the way back to Robert the Bruce remember him from the movie Braveheart I
do he was this God who kind of played both ways right like right yeah it was
it that guy yes and so what she did was in order to find out the lineage uh she wrote churches and things and that’s how
you find who you really are because tax records worth records by Churches so she
wrote letters and found yeah all this so have you spent a lifetime kind of looking up your story like this I
haven’t had to do it because it’s all in books and on paper and over there I brought with this Taylor’s a tabernacle
which traces the Taylor family all the way all the way back of which uh Harriet
James Taylor also was a uh uh she was a descendant of James Madison’s James
Madison as well also a presidential blood here I think we do
well let’s fast forward from Robert the Bruce that’s obviously quite a bit of time ago the point that your relatives
that landed in the United States on this in this continent let’s start there that’s a good place to start because it gets pretty wild but that’s a good place
it gets we’re starting here well 1492 is when the Columbus sailed the ocean he
mentioned 16. right what was the first 16 20. there you go with that Nick Nicholas smart Martin and he was a
Huguenot and a lot of people came over here because of the religious persecution okay and then uh George Reed
who was George Washington’s uh great-grandfather camo
um he was he came over for a land grant okay so they’re here so they’re here and uh
so George Washington’s sister married a guy Colonel Fielding Lewis who was my
father’s namesake and my grandmother’s maiden name was Lewis so we can trace that all the way back that one’s pretty
simple yeah and then let’s go from there let’s spread let’s get to Texas so okay how do
we get here in San Antonio uh the King Philip II of Spain wanted
200 families from the Canary Islands uh to come to the United States and my uh
great great great great great grandfather was one of the 16 original families that settled the settlement of
Behar which now became San Antonio and his great-granddaughter married John
William Smith who was the last messenger of the Alamo oh wow and he there’s a statue of him and when you drive by it
looks like he’s jumping over the wall because he’s on the horse okay it’s the biggest statue there yeah one of the original families in San Antonio and
then some some of your family becomes prominent citizens of San Antonio yes the first mayor of San Antonio first
mayor first mayor and uh then actually one of my great great
grandfather and was the first one to canned chili con Carney were really proud of that too to Canon yes I didn’t
know you did that what explain well you take chili cookies
and you can it but uh that’s that’s what what is a popular brand of chili con carne that one might find on the shelves
the Chandler family neighbors his name was Tobin okay but uh let’s get to Fort
Worth okay if you want to get to that because this is fortitude yep but wait a minute let me ask some it says your
parents met your mom and dad met at Fiesta at the fiesta in San Antonio what okay so not Fiesta Texas
I didn’t think they had that then that was the that was my first tip of I don’t know if we got the truth here would I
read the thing and it says meeting at Fiesta I figure they’re like at the Six Flags of San Antonio that that’s not
accurate correct no no and so what is the Fiesta the Fiat the fiesta is just
an annual uh spring Fiesta in San Antonio okay just uh a big celebration
yep and uh it’s their largest celebration of the year and my uh parents were kind of put together and um
they wound up liking each other and okay what the irony is is uh my mother’s
grandmother did research on my father to make sure that he was of like of good kind oh yeah right so around the letter
we found the letter yeah that his lineage was okay then did they did they meet up then they came back up here or
were they from here my um my family first got to Fort Worth in uh
16 uh I’m I’m sorry 1836 both of uh John
William Smith who was the last message of the Alamo uh he also was at the Battle of San Jacinto because he took
the last messenger out when he came back everybody was gone so then on my mother’s side Jacob Matthews
was in the Battle of San Jacinto and he got one of the first land grants because
everyone that was at the Battle of San Jacinto or at the Alamo their family got a land grant yeah 604. so thank you as a
thank you prize thank you prize that’s nice of them so thanks for risking your life thanks for dying so he chose he
chose to plot a land out near Benbrook with a clear Fork River was okay and then so he had a he was started cattle
ranching and actually had made an agreement with the uh with the local Indian tribe that he could raise his
Catalan because it wasn’t uh um it was they weren’t very pleased to
have white settlers there okay yeah right and so supposedly there was a ceremony under a tree and we used to
shoot fireworks uh out by this little Lake where all that happened but uh then
um a guy JW corn do you remember that old Ranch House out 377 that old white ranch
house across from white stone yeah golf course that was my great great grandfather’s house and his name was
what J.W corn that’s a heck of a name I mean that’s you could go far with that name is this what this is about is this
is really about JW’s lineage and where he comes from well my last name is Wilson and corn I don’t think Oh I
thought it was corn okay JW fits it’s a powerful name you get your own show a little bit yeah
right well so um so JW had amassed a
humongous a humongous uh cattle Empire and unfortunately he bought a bunch of
Hereford cattle and uh and went Belly Up and a couple of us he had eight children
and a couple of them turned on him oh wow tried to have them declared incompetence and um he was worth
millions and millions of dollars at the time but the problem was is uh the bankers they started calling his notes
and he wound up while I’m going bankrupt but we uh still had some of the ranch and my grandfather fought it from night
from it started in 1923 and we were still fighting for the mineral rights and things oh really and so yeah it was
kind of a bad thing where the family totally split one side was trying to take his money and the other side was trying to keep it yeah and the only ones
that profited were the banks how big was that ranch right there that ranch it was as far as you could see it was uh I
think that one was about eight ten thousand acres but he owned over a hundred thousand acres oh wow so the
bank ultimately got it took it back from him uh Bank Bankers yes got a federal
Old Judge wound up getting getting some of the property and my uncle was investigating it once in a
court Courthouse burned down where one of the venues were but this is interesting one of his ranches was the
ranch in Van Horn Texas where uh and I’ve actually been there we drove by there once and that was where Jeff Bezos
uh his favorite spaceship landed on the
former Ranch of JD red corn oh no and it said and it said the corn Ranch on the
other three has a Perpetual clock built into the mountain where it’ll never lose time or something like that well that’s
where his the first spacecraft that Jeff Bezos went in where it landed was in Van Horn Texas and that was one of his
ranches but this is saying that that’s not the only flying object in your history and lineage as well there was
something in Roswell and Roswell yes the debris field uh JW corn he came to Fort
Worth and his brother went to Roswell and founded the corn Ranch and the part
of the debris field for the spaceship the UFO incident in Roswell landed on
his Ranch did he go and Discover it or how does that work his neighborhood his neighbor
actually discovered it but um there were some objects on his Ranch as well because the debris field was rather wide
did he keep any of them that I do not know there’s nothing in your that’s been
passed down to you or anything like that no other no other than it happened and then reading uh the newspaper articles
because it was I was I went to New Mexico Military Institute now the teacher that was there was there he was
18 years old and was on guard Duty when it happened and he said they just shut the whole base down and nobody knew nothing and everybody was sworn to
secrecy oh really so JW corn was had
eight children was that your great grandfather or your grandfather great great grandfather great great
uh or great great great grandfather okay and my great-grandfather was the first
vice president of the Associated Press and he died in a car wreck and um
then my my grandfather my grandfather always wanted to be a Rancher but uh and
he would he was an engineer and went to a m and he built neon signs and he built
at the St Louis World’s Fair the largest neon sign in the world what was it of yeah I I don’t know what
it was of but he also built the Centennial liquor sign in Dallas oh yeah
and uh where’s that on Harry Hines or something yeah I think so yeah he yeah
how do I know that he built he built that former life and he also and and he was one of those guys that uh
he would just start building and doing things and you know what is now salsa lemon was Jane J’s Oyster Bar that uh
when Topsy’s Diner that was on University yeah he built that building out of scrap metal from the bomber plant
seriously seriously so JW corn who is Jack corn Jack corn is my grand my
grandfather Jay debut Corn’s grandson grandson okay yes tell us a little about Jack corn I see in in this write-up it’s
there’s some incredible things that that guy did the most incredible thing he did was as well he was in South Texas he uh they
didn’t have much entertainment so they had an arranged fight between the cowhands and my grandfather my
grandfather lost the fight and my uncle hey my great great uncle paid the guy
to take a fall no to gouge my grandfather’s eye out what did you do and he goes I put it
back in what do you think I get offered that all the time but I haven’t taken it yet so but uh he was he was a very
interesting guy and he built he had corn Aluminum Awnings as well and those were
on the Kodak Building in Dallas and he actually worked on the Pegasus the
Pegasus horse in Dallas too because the sign he was like he was a consultant on that uh-huh is he the Pentagon AC guy oh
yes that’s right I have I almost forgot about that uh this is Jack corn correct Jack corn because he was an engineer
during the um during the building of the Pentagon he helped design part of the air
conditioning system for one of the sections and I do have plans of it
it’s just uh too small in the Pentagon of the Pentagon yes air conditioning system part of the air conditioning
couple window units yeah you said nice and he also he you know they’re not window units there of course yeah he
came to Fort Worth eventually um yes he was he was born he was born
out of the ranch actually but he had moved to Washington DC specifically to work on the Pentagon after this happened
he comes to Fort what does he do in Fort Worth he does several things that are relevant here he knew a couple guys that
got him Eman Carter yes but well he was good friends with Amon Carter and he used to walk around in a hat that Eamon
Carter had given him and he um had the uh
aluminum awning business and then the the uh fluorescent light business but he
also was one of the founding members of All Saints Church okay and he’s the one that picked up uh Bishop DeWolf from the
from the train station and he helped broker the deal to get All Saints Church where it was and they wanted to make it
a modern building at first but uh him and Mr Moncrief uh thought no we don’t
like this idea and they went and they fired the architect and got and um with
uh father to Wolf they got the same architect that had his his father his
father had had been a preacher in a Gothic style church so they all got together and then
got a new architect to build the church as it is now which is a very traditional yeah right at the time they wanted it
well according to our past talks he also he found Steeplechase yes he was one of
the steeplechers as well as Rivercrest the extra Club one of the founding members of Rivercrest and he also was a
founding member of the boat club fourth boat club yes and he carried a gun oh he carried a gun uh always and a lot of my
friends thought he was a Texas Ranger because he always he always had uh this same blue button-down shirt the Stetson
and cowboy boots and he had this big gun on and one time one time on Halloween we got a candy
from his house and uh we we just hear him cussing and saying you know expert
of expletive Beggars and and my grandma we go into my these kids come off the
porch screaming because my grandfather opened the door with the gun and guess what do y’all want
and uh but uh he walked around he walked around with that with that gun and um one time they were talking they were in
a meeting of he was on the Water Conservation District as well and he was in a meeting with a bunch of
Bakers and people of influence and they were talking about who who who was going
to get water and where and my grandfather pulls the gun out and puts it on the table and they go what’s the
gun for and he says just just in case yeah so you know that you’re not taking
it from my land exactly and actually this was verified by my brother was in
that same Bank building uh as an assistant and a guy came up to him and said is Jack coin your grandfather and
he said yes he goes I was actually an assistant to someone in this room and your grandfather had pulled out that gun
and said I just want to make sure everyone’s on the up and up wow anything else this is all these are all your fi
on your father’s side right this is my mother’s side mother’s side on my father’s side well real quick was this
guy with the gun was he the one that got the Eye Guy yes well what happened like did he have a scar or anything
um it was just discolored it was it was discolored okay okay keep going so it was discolored and then on my father’s
side his it was his uh ancestor that was the last messenger of the Alamo but my
grandmother was a semi-pro golfer and sports illustrator called her the best female
golfer in the United States what was her name Peggy Chandler Peggy Chandler and she had won the Texas open
when uh babe Jacobson was disqualified because someone made a phone call
because she was accepting money from I guess it was a Dodge or Buick dealership
but in the Babe diedrickson story my grandmother’s the villain in the movie oh really right you know it’s very
interesting what you’ve done with your family you found like the highlights of all of them it’s it’s pretty it’s pretty
good stuff versus US you find only the low lights yeah yeah uh let’s talk about uh
remember that tab in the bathroom no just yeah I’m just kidding let’s go stick further into your mom’s background but um tell us about this Chief Running
Bear story oh that was interesting and that was um Jacob Matthews who got the first land
grant because the Indians were there and that’s why they call it Bear Creek was Chief Running Bear and so the one off
377 there yes okay and so in order uh in order to uh graze his cattle
and to and to live and be able to Ranch uh he had to make a deal with the local
Indians and it was Chief Running Bear and they actually smoked a peace pipe and out of ceremony and he offered them
um cattle cattle in exchange for anything in exchange for using the land right yeah
and for peace and um and so that tree supposedly we used to
shoot fireworks out from underneath it when I was a kid yeah and that’s um at that tree uh they also hung cattle
rustlers hmm it was the Wild West the tree’s Still
Standing the tree was still standing last time I was there is it right off 377 left-hand side you said yes like if
you’re heading right South bendemarin Road okay Ben day murren uh was JW
Corn’s Ranch Hand okay and it wasn’t it wasn’t a ranch hand he managed I’m sorry he managed the
whole Ranch he managed your entire thing yeah so it was a big operation yeah and so but Ben day murren
um was uh loyal to J.W corn and he bought uh a lot of the a lot of the
rants that he has from my aunt opal okay okay from uh my aunt opal I know we’re
jumping around a lot of Alexander and I’m sorry but the story it just jumps around and just maybe that’s the way it has to be who’s Charles Yeager oh
Charles Yeager was my great-grandfather and he was the first vice president of
the Associated Press and he owned the Rocky Mountain news as well and he worked for Randolph Hearst back in the
day uh at one point he did and um the rumor was is that uh he took the job
at the Associated Press because that was to be the uh the guardian against
Randolph Hearst taking over everything that he supposedly took that job in
order to kind of keep an eye out on everything for Mr Hurst do people ever tell you that your
stories are crazy or is I mean I believe you we do because I’ve heard you tell it before and I’ve seen the notes and seen
some documentation but do people think this stuff is so wild it can’t be true because it is incredible all the places
your family’s touched oh absolutely and a friend of my a friend of my mother’s just said that’s absolutely not true so
my mother pulls out this book The Tailor’s at Tabernacle and and opens the page to
to uh Nicholas Martin that came in 1620 and right and she says there is right
there and she said why would my great-grandmother my grandmother’s name be in this book yeah and so and proved
her wrong did the lady accept it who who made that accusation that it was not true no she accused her of uh picking up
picking up the book and it was false and I couldn’t accept it but it is kind of it is kind of unbelie it is kind of
unbelievable but the thing is is people’s everybody’s family has some history somewhere yeah they do and they
did a lot of things I just happened to come from a family where there’s a lot of oral history yeah and some of the
people and when you look at in the expanse of time these people did things but uh some
generations didn’t do so hot and then others it was up and down yeah in that
book we in he’s seen this book that traces my family all the way back to 9 20. they um it’s the accounting of
everybody and the Herbert family and they didn’t have anything nice to say
about one guy and they just called him the bad count well no it’s really interesting because
you’ve as a young guy you probably just did a whole lot you’re a quiet guy we know this you probably just did a whole
lot of sitting and listening and just hearing all of these incredible stories I learned in the con the thing of it was
is my grandfather was born in 1898. oh yeah and he took me around and I
didn’t think he knew my name until I was about 10 he called me Butch and we’d go out to the ranch uh-huh but he would
tell me all these stories and he told me about how he worked on uh how he worked on the largest sign in the
world and the FL the fluorescent sign of how how fluoresce electricity worked and
he told me these stories about being down on the ranch and told me the stories of his grandfather Yeah and his
great-grandfather and then for example when I went to San Antonio for a family reunion for uh the John William Smith
the last messenger the Alamo they literally were setting up cameras that people were giving their own oral histories of who did what and things and
I find it remarkable honestly that people some people don’t know who or where their grandparents were born right
but if you don’t know where you came from then how are you going to know what
you’re capable of and where you’re going because when I feel that I can’t do something for example I just
um I just say I just say um uh 170 Miles because that’s how
that’s Health that’s how far John Williams Smith rode his horse to give
the last message of the Alamo to uh John to Sam Houston wow so that’s uh 71 miles
can I ask you more pointing question we’ve jumped around again but we’re not and we’re not attempting to do that but
your mother please we’re getting closer to just where we are today but your mom born 36 she had Polio as a kid she had
Polio as a kid and she didn’t tell us about some of the growing up with the maid situation you’ve mentioned before
you remember that story oh with my mother yeah well what happened was is they were so scared with polio my mother
had polio and so my she had no contact with my grandmother or grandfather for
several months and so it was just the living made housekeeper took care of her
and so it was because no one knew if it was contagious or what so and she
battled that and you couldn’t you couldn’t tell now that she had it but it’s okay for the maid to get it I guess
it’s just yes yeah yeah and then where did your mother go from there because it shows quite a little story herself oh
she went um she went to Mex to the University of Mexico to study art and she wound up
um my grandfather had said well you have one day to find roommates or you can’t stay and she found someone that was
French and spoke English and then someone else that uh was American and she stayed there and one of her friends
was dating the vice president of Mexico’s daughter or my mom’s friend was dating the vice
president of Mexico’s son so they used to go to parties at the presidential Palace oh wow and she’s said when they
were done with these parties that they would just hit this big gong and everyone was
supposed to leave but then in the cat in the cafe and the coffee shops there was
a great artistic movement uh with uh with artists and and writers and a lot
of existentialists hung out there and I said so you were an existentialist and she said yes and I said do you even know
what an existentialist is and she goes I never did find out what an existentialist was but I sure was a damn
good one yeah nice um a couple more names from the family
tree that I got to ask you about because I’ve I thought I don’t want to leave any of this unturned it’s definitely worth talking about tell tell us about Uncle
Jack Bell okay Jack Bell was a very interested you’re gonna love this this is incredible you’re gonna love this
stuff okay Jack Bell was a very interesting guy and he was a genius and a Mensa member and
at 17 he wanted to join the Army Air course so my grandfather got him in and then he went to flight
school and he memorized uh my mom went down to the library she was nine years
old at the time I think and got a book of German gave it to him and while he was in flight school he learned it
and he got um three uh uh three Oak
clusters he was uh shot down several planes and he was so good they put a
camera on the wing of his plane and we used to watch these films when I was a kid and so he had mailed himself back a
motorcycle by the way but the most interesting thing is he he was in the first flights over the Battle of the
Bulge and he got shot down in Belgium and he got back on the Underground the
Underground Railroad that they would call it however whatever you call it the underground passage and he could speak
enough German to get by and so he went from Farmhouse to Farmhouse he traveled at night and got himself back and he
came back with um uh Nazi knives and things yeah but uh then after after the
war he married and and got divorced but the most interesting thing was he was a cloud
seeder and he caused you know what that is no you’re about to find out that’s where you throw out
um um I believe it’s it’s an ionization bomb it’s a little canister and it’s
about I would I would say about a foot long and about five inches in diameter
and you throw it throw it out in the clouds and it causes a reaction in the clouds and causes it to rain
and it’s called Cloud sitting and he was on What’s My Line for being a cloud seeder but the most interesting thing
was that he was contracted by the city of Fort Worth to do this and he caused a
flood he caused it to rain too much and so uh
uh all the uh people were saying that he was interfering with God’s work and it
didn’t rain for a while and there was a big controversy whether or not it wasn’t the big flood though was it not the big okay okay this was a mini flood so then
they were going to hire him to do it again and um in the Star Telegram there was uh on the
front page a two big cartoons of him and of him which we have of
after the first one and then them threatening him yeah not to do it again and um it ended his career when the
Baptist got involved because the uh the the uh Baptist Church were suing him for
interfering with God’s work so he decided my grandmother my grandmother called it quits on him being a heretic
oh yeah and interfering with God’s work so that ended his career I think those really work I’ve heard well I mean they
don’t really work do they where they throw the bomb out there and it does that it did the day it caused the flood yeah we’re not we’re not we’re not
saying we’re not saying uh we’re not saying he caught yeah that um we don’t know if God did it but the
cause but he happened to be in the cloud at the time when it started raining sure I’ve never even heard of that I mean I
want has that ever been tried since then I’ve never heard even heard no they shoot stuff up in there yeah there was
there was a move there was a movie called the um The Rainmaker too okay The Rainmaker the John Grisham book yes yeah
oh I was thinking rain man I was thinking of Tom Cruise movie The rainmakers about it it’s that it’s that
Grisham book yeah I think a different movie I’m sure but anyway and he he unfortunately in 62 was murdered out off
of uh out out at the ranch how come it was a terrible story a guy was hunting illegally on the ranch and
my uncle uh told him to go away and then the guy came back and let out did it again like a couple of days later and
then so my uncle uh tied up his dogs and then the guy uh got the dogs and and
came back went to the bar down the down the road went to a bar and whiskey I’m
not sure what the bar was actually it was it was there up until about 15 20 years ago and uh got drunk went back and
shot him with a double barrel shotgun my uncle my great uncle was in was in his
house and heard the shot and drove into the hospital he was Dead on Arrival but the amazing thing was is at that moment
that half my mother was in Dallas she doubled over in pain and so and said she and had unexplained
pain and was doubled over in intense pain and that was when he was shot too were they twins no but my mom has this
weird psychic ability she wouldn’t let us go outside the day Elvis died she knew something wrong was gonna
happen seriously seriously I think she’s connected all right I like how you say just
connected all right Dan Chandler who is this guy uh Dan Chandler was my
uh grandfather in Dallas my my father’s father obviously and he was the uh
executive officer of the Philippines he was a West Point graduate and was the
executive officer of the Philippines and then during World War II during World
War II he was the uh adjutant he was in charge of security at West Point and
because they wanted him back for allied Allied uh commands but my grandmother
did not want to she said I went to the Philippines I’m not going over to Europe to go get bombed nor are you so in order
to make a deal with the army so he could serve he agreed if he could go to West Point and actually
my grandfather said it was harder to get my uncle and father in West Point than
it was to get my uncle out of West Point because he didn’t fit but yeah since he was in charge of security
the most valuable asset was the was the young recruits and the officers so he
took it very seriously and my dad got a lot of jiding because the joke was as Hitler would never invade West Point
because my grandfather wouldn’t give him a pass so nobody could go out on dates because my granddad didn’t care yeah how
good-looking she was you were staying in the barracks oh yeah and safe and yeah and he was a sugar he was a sugar he was
a sugar broker but um and uh so he married Peggy Chandler okay
uh Peggy Lewis who was my grandmother who was the golfer is he the one that founded the New York State Police oh
that was George Fletcher his father my notes are bad George Fletcher Chandler
my great uh grandfather on my father’s side uh he was good friends with Roosevelt
met Roosevelt in the he was a surgeon Bill Roosevelt said he was okay Teddy
was about during the Spanish are you falling asleep over there sorry I don’t know what is going on camera geez
allergies no my allergies make me really tired I had to take a Benadryl because
I’m sorry it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s the tree thing yeah yeah but uh so George
Fletcher Chandler met Roosevelt during the Spanish-American war and they wanted
to um they needed a state police because it was like in the movie Porky’s when you
cross county lines the sheriff wouldn’t do anything if there was a crime committed and someone had of from a very
wealthy family uh child had gotten kidnapped and they couldn’t do anything
and so sheriffs were cooperating so he hired my great-grandfather the governor
of New York to start the first uh New York State Police and he went in with the uniform to my grandmother my
grandmother said get out of here you look like a Russian Catholic because she was German oh okay and so he said what
if I put purple in it so she said okay so all he did was put a purple band on
the hat and the purple band on the hat for the New York State Police is still there and it’s an homage to my
great-grandmother Chief nice I love the reference to Porky’s Alexander I mean I’ve of all the guests with all the
references I don’t believe we’ve ever had the reference to the movie Porky’s uh so good it’s good that’s the best way
that’s the best way to describe a sheriff not Crossing County Line well let’s not forget about George Fletcher
Chandler’s brother frommer so farmer Chandler his brother or no that was my grant that was his son
my my uncle fromer Chandler now with the name like fromer and and a father and
I’d love to travel maybe military bent uh he ran away from home at 14 because
my great-grandfather was going to send in the military school so he joined bobville
he joined Vaudeville and then he moved what’s Vaudeville Vaudeville is the same
place where uh people like Bob Bob Hope uh George Burns
and all them they got their they got their start as Comedians and shows it was it was like right yeah it was like
where they did variety Laugh Factory or whatever in La kind of like that stand up right back in the day yeah right
people people uh like George Burns and them together start and so he moved to Hollywood and changed his name to Chick
Chandler he was in the he was in a lot of the Blondie movies uh-huh and he was good
friends with Carrie Grant they kept him around because he was a comedian and they paid him something like a couple
hundred dollars a week and they would say go to this studio or go to that studio and he was in dozens of movies
and he’d be the funny guy yes he was at first he was he was a straight man but he was a good character actor but it but
he was hilarious and he was the cop and it’s a mad mad mad mad mad world that stops Spencer Tracy
at the end huh that’s kind of cool yeah I mean you’re just kind of relating all of this thing I’m still going back to
the uh and the not going outside when Elvis died like that’s just uh it’s
really weird same thing when when the pope when the pope happened and yeah when when the pub got shot yeah it was
it was it was really weird but my mother they had the live-in made uh the living
made um Lily I was from the Dominican Republic and uh practice Voodoo and things
oh wow maybe that’s where that came from yeah some of it yeah yeah who knows are
we missing anybody is there any are we missing I mean this there’s a lot going on here anybody what’s craziest thing
ever happened to you is there anything specific to you in the story well let’s see the craziest thing that
happened to me was as I woke up and thought what am I doing here because I uh was about to become an alumnus of
Harvard Business School and the only reason I thought that I’d ever become alumnus or Harvard Business be at a
Harvard Business School would be to deliver a pizza and so I just I just think being at the
right place at the right time yeah and uh my life has been where I’ve been
motivated by these people that have done things and then so the real estate company that I had Alexander Chandler
Realty we wound up in years selling 1.4 billion in real estate and 7 000
transactions but they didn’t happen at once and life doesn’t always go the way that you think it would would go and
things happen but knowing the family’s military background I was fine at
military school I went there because it was a tradition I got in real estate because of my mother and uh she got in a
car wreck and I took over her business but these stories help motivate me yeah
when things aren’t going well I just look at that picture of John William Smith of the Alamo and looked there and
then I look at the history and think all these people it wasn’t that they woke up and they were superheroes
no one wore a cape what they were were people that they were ordinary people
that when the time came they did their job extraordinary things yeah they did
the next they did an extraordinary they did their job in an extraordinary way and they were Ordinary People yeah and
it was those moments those moments those moments though where uh became a
catalyst for other things there were people that seized opportunity is what it was yeah and that’s when you look
back at all these people and all the things that they did was is instead of saying no
they said yes and they took chances which was a good life lesson that I could always take from all of all of
these people yeah well Alex it’s been a fun ride my man yes it’s a hell of a story yes um thank
you for joining us thank you very much pleasure so we always ask our guests that’s going to be hard for you because
it’s all been all familial I got to ask you though Alex were you doing something like sitting around the cough like the
the dining room table because I envisioned you as a young boy just sitting on somebody’s like this and then
I’ve I picture this family dinner of kinds and where all these stories started like within you were you were
you busy like drawing or do or just because you gotta have absorbed it some
absorbed it my grandmother when I was a kid uh for example told me all these stories she would give my brothers money
to go to toy chest which my grandparents lived across from River Cross Country Club and she would give my brothers
money to leave and I didn’t figure it out till later but she wanted me to stay
there and she’d tell me all these stories okay and uh and my granddad would tell me on the way to the
mentioned in my mother my mother shared those and my dad didn’t speak much he
was very he was very stoic yeah but uh it was it was that history was was
passed down and it was passed down in the same way yeah yeah that’s great we should all have that written down I mean
everybody’s got a story as we know but it’s incredible you’ve done all this research and kept it intact it’s something you could save for forever now
yeah because a lot of people are related are related to to people of consequence they’re just
not aware of it right right a little research and ask those questions yeah okay so Best Day Of Life no family you
know just what you’re you know what’s Alexander Chandler’s best day that he’s ever had uh family aside family aside
that was a question that I didn’t um think uh you would ask and actually I
think the I think the proudest moment that I did have actually was uh when I
did walk across the stage at Harvard because it was something that I’d always wanted to do yeah and I did it and I
finished when I was about 49 48 years old I wanted to go to uh uh more of a
prestigious College in the 80s but because of the bank crisis or couldn’t do it couldn’t afford it and it was
something I did later in life that I did not think I could do or ever accomplished yeah and I accomplished it
and so that was a very proud moment and when I walked across the stage the uh dean of the Executive Education
Department whispered in my ear you have many more Mountains to climb my friend oh yeah that’s great that was a very
proud that was a very proud great job great job that’s awesome thank you for joining us we’ve enjoyed the time thank
you cap Tech’s Bank thank you Brit now you get back to your naps come on I don’t know what was going on has been
another great edition of episode of fortitude believe it or not yes thank you