REAL ESTATE LEGACY
Working in the real estate field has been a wonderful experience—one that I share with my mother and father, sister-in-law, and great-grandfather Hap Wood.
Henry Clay (Hap) Wood was a renowned ranch broker headquartered in Ione, Oregon at the turn of the century. Hap helped many ranching families assemble their operations throughout the golden wheat and prized cattle country, developing a strong and stable ranching economy. Our family still owns a beautiful wheat ranch near Boardman, Oregon now managed by third and fourth generations. Eventually, Hap moved to Portland, Oregon and continued his real estate practice from the lobby of the Imperial Hotel. The Imperial was a hub of activity where political and industry leaders met regularly to conduct business.
OF CABBAGES AND KINGS
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things: Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax — of cabbages — and kings."
They put 'Hap' Wood to rest last week. It's hard to believe he's gone. Hap was so 'alive' you just assumed he'd go on forever. His health had not been good, but we were sure nothing could permanently slow him down.
Hap's headquarters were at the Imperial Hotel in Portland. He didn't need an office because all he needed to operate his business was in his head. But he could be found at the Imperial when he wasn't in eastern Oregon because most of the people he wanted to see stopped at the Imperial. We don't know how many ranches Hap sold over the years he was in the business of selling ranches. And we don't know how many dollars exchanged hands in all the transactions he arranged. But we'll bet, without fear of losing, that it will be a long time before anybody will top him as a ranch property broker.
Hap's strength was in his personality. He thoroughly liked people and all he did showed it so clearly that people just had to like him. He made hard and fast friendships with hundreds of ranchers. Out of those friendships came the many deals, many of them fabulously large, that he made over many years.
Any young man who wanted to be a successful salesman could have not done better than to watch Hap Wood in action in the lobby of the Imperial Hotel and on his many trips to Eastern Oregon. We doubt that Hap had ever read a word about being a successful salesman, but he could have written a book on the subject by telling how Hap Wood did it.
When a man of Hap Wood's stature departs something seems to happen to our way of life in this great eastern Oregon country. You can't see any change but you know it has occurred. He was such an integral part of what makes living in eastern Oregon so different and so rewarding.
*Obituary of Hap Wood, The Oregonian.