Over 70 years of Accounting work in Shreveport/Bossier Area
I was born in 1947. That year my dad, affectionately called “Bull”, armed with a degree from Centenary College in Spanish, had a brilliant idea! What if I opened my own tax preparation business so I can wake up at 4 am, work 18 hour days for 5 months every year away from my wife & kids, sleep on an army cot in a teensy office, eat a greasy cheeseburger and fries almost every day at my desk, make less money than the job I left so the bills could pile up, and do every tax return with carbon paper copies with one chewed #2 yellow pencil with an eraser rubbed down to the metal.
He claimed his nickname came from the bull on the Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco pouch, even though he never touched the stuff. I am now convinced the reality is it was because of his bull-headedness.
He called his business “Durham & Durham” because it sounded a lot better than “Durham”, he laughed. He wanted to call it “Durham & Sons” originally, but I came along and messed that name up.
When I was at Byrd High, I remember his advertisement in the Shreveport Times, “Tax Returns $3.95 & Up”. “Mostly UP” he would laugh proudly! I also graduated from Centenary, but with a degree in Education. I taught for several years, made a lap or two ‘round the world until Daddy convinced me to come to work for him in 1976. By this time, he had increased his staff to two, but still had that same pencil! He finally bought a copy machine, balked at a new-fangled fax machine, and I drug him kicking and screaming to his first computer program to do returns. He was convinced it was not possible for a machine that even had to reside in a hermetically sealed room of its own and cost $32,000 could ever know how to do a tax return better than him. He reminded me constantly with it pointed in my face, “I started this business with THIS pencil with THIS eraser, and NO machine can ever replace it!”
Now, 71 years later, and many, many changes, amazingly, Durham & Durham is still here. “I WILL NEVER BE LIKE MY DADDY!”, I have been known to exclaim over these last 43 years… BUT here I am, getting up at 4 am, working excruciatingly long hours for 3 months, recruiting various family members to join in the fray, going through extreme changes in tax codes. Most recently adding my niece, Sabrina Durham to the team. She graduated from LSUS with a degree in Business Administration and is excited to learn the family business. Surprisingly, I am delighted my professional life has turned out the way it did! Over the years, Daddy gave me enough latitude to afford me the opportunity to have a fabulous and rewarding career, to spend an inordinate amount of time with my family (all of which worked with us at some time in their life) and friends (I am lucky enough to have MANY), to do extraordinary volunteer work, to get married every decade (whether I needed to or not), and realize what an amazing gift my father (and mother) gave me.
I am blessed in every way.