His response

Dave Wilcox got back to me (and I should note that he’s always pretty eager to chat it up about stuff, which is worth noting in this bidness where silence is a staple of public discourse) about the sale of the Eddie Crook Company property to Wilcox and Gary Gabbard. And to a certain extent, he responded (by essentially not responding) to the claims that EC had sold out an unspecified state in ECC to Wilcox. Thus Wilcox in an email:

Mr. and Mrs. Crook had the office building up for sale for quite sometime. In fact I believe it was in excess of 15 months. I saw it as a good investment and the opportunity to keep the “launching pad” of the ECC in the family (so to speak). I was not strong enough financially to purchase the building on my own, so I turned to Gary Gabbard and he agreed to become my partner. The building continues to house the ECC and there is another business in the back that leases office space from us. As to the other claims [about sale of the ECC operation itself], I see no need to comment on the funny ideas, rumors, unbridled speculation and conspiracy theories that seem to manifest themselves in our industry.

There you have it. An abler or more energetic investigator than I might be able to suss out more public records about the sale of the company itself (should such a sale have actually taken place), but while that might be interesting, I think the drift of things is pretty clear from what we know thus far: Eddie Crook, though not out of the picture by any stretch and not one whom it would be wise to write off, is entering a phase of his professional career in which, as George Younce was fond of saying, there are more days behind him than ahead of him. Thus he’s pared down his operation to some extent (sold his duplication equipment and began outsourcing some work that once was done in-house). Even if we knew definitively that Wilcox does in fact have a controlling interest in ECC (which, I should note, we don’t know at all), it would only solidify the existing reality: that EC is an established brand in the bidness and any smart entrepreneur looking to mine the same veins EC has made a career out of would be foolish not to keep EC himself front and center of the ECC operation.

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