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Bubble Gum Interview- Jeff Brown AKA “The Bawldguy”


What’s a Bubble Gum Interview?

Bubble Gum Interviews were born on in 2007 and for trillions of reason (namely that I got busy), they were discontinued. They’re silly interviews where I send questions to real estate bloggers so you can get to know them better and find obscure things over which you can connect with them. Comments are encouraged and everyone’s been a good sport about being interviewed, so to kick the series back into high gear, take a look at this interview done in 2007 below.

Jeff Brown, I’m not sorry to drudge this back up:

Just when you thought you knew your favorite bloggers, along comes the Bubble Gum Interviews. We ask the really tough questions about things like food preferences, high school stories and favorite hair products. Today’s Bubble Gum victim is none other than my friend Jeff Brown– master international investment secret spy agent. Jeff and I (and my husband) have gotten to know each other well over the past few months, and although I’m not Jeff’s boss or anything (that’s what his wife is for), let’s just say I get to call every now and then and use my “serious business voice.” I do like Jeff a lot- enough to use this picture of him in our car (taken while he was pimpin’ his pimp hat and pimp shades, talking, and pretending not to get mad while I photograph him in action). So, Jeff- tell us about yourself!

Name three Halloween costumes you wore in your childhood.

The first costume I remember was the one Mom made for me, after weeks of begging — Superman. I put it on the minute I got home from school. (1st grade) Dad couldn’t stop laughing, as I tried to keep dinner off my costume.

The next year I was the devil, which I thought was insanely rebellious, as I was the preacher’s kid. I learned later the name of that costume should’ve been called ‘cliché’.

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Though I was getting older, at 12 you go for the candy. I dressed as my all-time sports hero, Sandy Koufax. I was irritated at every house we visited, because the dumb moms kept asking me who I was. Come on, who didn’t know who Sandy was?! Geez

Can a bald guy have a hairline fracture? 🙂

You need to ask my first wife that question. Once she stopped laughing and rolling her eyes you’d find out nobody bumps their head more than I used to. I must have cracked my skull 50 times against the corner of the stove hood when our kids were still pretty young. I mean hard, as in, “Daddy, your head is bleeding…again.”

Know how Deborah on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ sometimes calls Ray an idiot? She wasn’t the first, my kids’ mom was. 🙂 She said it best just after I’d cut myself for the umpteenth time on the damn stove hood.

Disclaimer: We’re still very close friends. She and her husband enjoyed Thanksgiving with my wife and I at our place last year. 🙂

What made you switch from selling homes to the investment property?

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First, it didn’t help, being a teenager with a real estate license. Being second generation was a big edge, but a bit of a hindrance too. The boss’s kid always gets a little grief, know what I mean, Verne?

What made me crazy was my absolutely inability to deal with wives who would love a house, then not make an offer because the paint was all wrong. (not to mention their weak-kneed husbands) 🙂 It should’ve been a no-brainer for me, but I just couldn’t hang. Back then (‘69-76) $50 bought you pizza for six people for an entire weekend, AND enough paint to redo every room in the house. But noooooo, can’t do that, hafta keep looking.

My very wise wife told me I had to find another way to make money, cuz I was gonna end up on the 11 o’clock news if I didn’t. That was her way of giving me the nod to move to the investment side, a big risk at the time.

Who would win a wrestling match between a medium sized black bear and Hulk Hogan?

Hulk Hogan by default — are you kiddin’ me? The bear would take one look at the Hulk, turn tail, and haul buns. 🙂

Do you have any musical talent?

In 1965, my freshman year, I made the parade band for Norwalk High. (L. A.) We marched in several parades, including the ‘Long Beach All-Western’, in which we were judged fifth best marching band in the 11 western states. I played trombone — it was nearly as long as I was tall.

My real musical talent though, (musical?) is dancing. Yep, the BawldGuy gets it done. There are some rules though. I have to be at least half way done with my second Glenlivet. At that point I think I can dance. (Note: When you look up ‘lightweight’ drinker in the dictionary, you’ll see my picture.) After three drinks I think I’m dazzling. On the very rare occasion in which I have a fourth drink, I’m convinced you’re one lucky wench to even be on the dance floor with me. 🙂 All of which, by the way, still leaves me as the poor bald guy looking like the snook he is, dancing with a woman who’s dang near a pro. Fortunately, everyone with a lick of discernment looks at her.

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How has fatherhood changed your life?

Enormously, and in ways I’m still discovering now. My daughter is a (3.5 GPA) college student, getting her degree next year in child development. Her big brother has his degree in international business, (also 3.5 start to finish) and is orders of magnitude smarter than his dad, as is his sister. I was in the room when each was born, cutting the cord on one.

I promised myself each would be taught how to be totally self-sufficient and think for themselves. They’ve turned out better than I’ll ever have the right to claim any credit for. This is especially true, as their mother was put on this earth to be a mom.

When they were babies, and looked at me the way babies do, the realization hit — I CANNOT fail.

Fatherhood forced me to be focused and purposeful in everything I did, because they either were watching, or would eventually find out. I learned being a Dad meant your job was defined as stepping up to the plate whenever and wherever it was required.

If you take fatherhood seriously, it’s impossible not to be changed — in some ways, profoundly. Kids have a way of keeping you honest, unafraid to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

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So there you have it. Jeff now holds the record for “most happy faces used in a Bubble Gum Interview,” sometimes dresses up as Superman+Satan+Sandy, theorizes that baldness causes vulnerability to skull fractures, mustered a serious face as he used the words “Hulk” and “buns” in the same sentence, and is a band nerd who can dance like Travolta when he’s lit (I think the pimp hat helps). Now that you really know Jeff, what do you think?

originally posted on, published in full here as we will be bringing you new Bubble Gum Interviews soon!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Matthew Hardy

    August 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Is that a mushroom cap on your head?

  2. BawldGuy

    August 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I know where you live, bro. 🙂

  3. Matthew Hardy

    August 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm



    (coulda sworn Portobello…)

  4. ines

    August 30, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I soooo miss your interviews Lani and jeff is the total BOMB!!! now I can’t wait to give him a mojito and have him dance 🙂 (San Diego maybe?)

  5. Russell Shaw

    August 30, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I really admire a man who can wear a dork hat AND dance too. 🙂

  6. Matthew Hardy

    August 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    > give him a mojito and have him dance

    Bet he has something special he wears with the hat.

  7. BawldGuy

    August 30, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    It’s amazing how spot on these comments are. 🙂 Ines has great judgment.

    Russ drills right to the truth of the matter. 🙂

    I look forward to seeing many of you in San Diego this coming November. Wouldn’t turn ur back on me though.

  8. MIssy Caulk

    August 31, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I miss those bubblegum interviews, they were fun and you got to see the humor in the interviewee.

  9. Erion Shehaj

    August 31, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Man, I’ve missed these — And you bring them back in style with Jeff Brown??

    Hey Jeff, Rocky called … 🙂

  10. Ian Greenleigh

    August 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    If the smiley face bore such a striking resemblance to ME, I would use it just as often. Alas, there are no smileys for long haired, unshaven and under-dressed me. 🙂

  11. BawldGuy

    August 31, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Erion — That’s so wrong on so many levels — but hilarious just the same. 🙂

  12. Linsey Planeta

    September 11, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Wow! If I didn’t like Jeff (which I actually did), I’d love him now. The part about Fatherhood – yeah I’m sold. Good guy!

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