The Great Hall
This institution is dedicated to the premise that there are lower forms of life than tow-truck drivers and telephone solicitors. The engraved plaque you see enshrined at the center of the Great Hall is the Big Daddy Hall of Fame's Statement of Purpose. It says:
"There are men among us whose comfortable lives were granted to them by their fathers. If you can't hate a person for that, you have never worked for one of them." During the next few minutes, you will become acquainted with several local recipients of Big Daddy beneficence. These are men whose entire reason for existence was handed to them by Big Daddy. More often than not, when your typical Big Daddy gifts the typical grossly unqualified fruit of his loins with unearned occupational security and/or unjustified stewardship of corporate assets, the logical conclusion is: The kid didn't deserve it, he couldn't cut it on his own with a chain saw, the punk had it made for life starting the minute Big Daddy's seed shimmied up Big Mama's love canal.
For evidence, one need look no farther than our newest (and currently most popular) exhibit, which occupies a position of prominence in the Great Hall.
This diorama is dedicated to this year's Arizona-based national figure, Charlie KEATING, whose most faithful accomplice in business has been his son, Charles Keating III. Keating-watchers within and without his father's decrepit empire call him "C3." The display reveals the most significant element of the C3 story: His father's success. Charles Keating Jr. (alias Charlie, C2, Big Daddy) once was a man of great importance in contemporary American life. The series of photos you see depict Keating as real estate developer, construction magnate, porn fighter and, finally, as investment counselor to retired people living on pensions. The exhibit also traces Keating's far-reaching influence as a proponent of traditional family values. For example, C2 gained great fame as a man who believed in folding family members into his own professional portfolio. Pictured are design sketches from Keating's just-seized-by-the-feds Phoenician Resort, the nutso interior of which was designed by Keating's wife, Mary Elaine (who apparently was not consulted on the new locks that the FBI recently picked out for many of the resort's office doors). Also pictured are Keating's many daughters, who were regularly granted corporate decision-making powers, and whose husbands also were invited into the club car of the executive gravy train. The highlight of the Keating exhibit is the life story of Charles III. As is now widely known, C3's dad gave his only son leadership of division upon division and title upon title and a six-figure annual salary. By the time he was in his mid-twenties, C3 was "in charge" of his dad's entire land-acquisition division and bound for greater glory. When Charles II took control of the Lincoln Savings and Loan vault in 1984, Charles III was given the board chairmanship. His qualifications at the time? The visual focus of the C3 exhibit, a blowup from a Wall Street Journal story, tells the tale: "[Keating] installed as board chairman his 28-year-old son, Charles Keating III, an Indiana University dropout who only a few years earlier had been working as a country club busboy."
Thank you, Big Daddy!
Continuing on, C3 students can read a copy of the infamous Estrella ordinance that would have prohibited homeowners in that gigantic empty development west of Phoenix from having abortions, and which was drafted to give the Keating company control of the homeowners' possessions, specifically works of art and literature. C3 wanted to keep porno, his dad's lifelong obsession, beyond the subdivision's borders. Is it any wonder that this exhibit has become so popular with our visitors? Is it any wonder that American taxpayers, congressmen, busted junk-bond-holding retirees and federal investigators all are asking themselves this question: Would Charles Keating Jr. be in such bad shape these days if he occasionally had heard better advice than "Great idea, Pop!"?
Before leaving the Keating segment of your tour, ponder for a moment what it means to be a Big Daddy. Whom do you loathe more? When dad turns junior's life into a water-slide tube ride of unearned status, power, wealth and fame, isn't he just as deserving of scorn as the recipient of such unholy patrimony? The answer? Well, yes. Of course he is. Just as Apollo 11 and the Fonz's leather jacket are focal points for millions of visitors to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Keating family exhibit stands in a prominent location just inside the entrance of the Big Daddy Hall of Fame. For out-of-town visitors, this is a popular spot to take snapshots. Locals tend to shuffle past the exhibit while quietly grimacing. Whatever you decide, be sure to hurry along. There's much more to see! The Hall of Industry