Brooke Allen, sat down with Len Bakerloo to find out who he is and where he came from.
Brooke: So, Len, who are you?
Len: Given that I am a product of your imagination, perhaps we could start with you, Brooke. Who are you exactly?
Brooke: I was born in 1952 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My dad was born in Cuba of American parents. During WWII he was a paratrooper in the Pacific. My mother was born in West Virginia but was raised in Florence. She and her father got out of Italy on the last plane from Rome to Lisbon before the Fascists closed the airport. Her dad would die in the U. S. and never see her mother again.
After the war his only formal training was as an artist. However, he had a successful career arc that took him from fine art to commercial art to advertising to marketing to management consulting. My father told me two things that would change my life:
- You can dedicate your life to a person or an ideal but not to a corporation because, although corporations may be people in the eyes of the law, they have no soul.
- Business is mankind’s best hope for world peace.
Len: You’re going to have to speed this up. People don’t want to hear your whole life story, much less a family history. Give us the elevator pitch.
Brooke: You must be one of those modern-day so-called writers who think anything over 140 characters is long-form journalism.
Brooke: OK. I got my BA in Mathematics in 1974, worked as a programmer at a university, at American Airlines, and for a small business before going to Wall Street in 1982. I got my MBA in 1986 and from 1988 onward I built and ran quantitative trading desks for various firms. I also ran a hedge fund for six years.
Len: That is interesting. I edit the work of Dr. John Watson who is the sidekick to Mr Sherlock Holmes. Apparently, in 1982 they broke up. Sherlock Holmes went into finance and Dr. Watson began writing political speeches and screenplays.
Brooke: You do know that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, don’t you? Anyway, I did a fair bit of writing, particularly more recently when I was running a trading desk for the U. S. branch of a Canadian firm.
Len: I’m becoming a little suspicious. Sherlock told me he that when he worked on Wall Street he used to publish monographs under an assumed name. He wouldn’t reveal that name but he said that if I just took the pieces apart and rearranged them I was probably smart enough to figure it out.
Len: Sherlock told me that people believe that he, Dr. Watson, Professor Moriarty, Irene Adler, and that whole gang were the creation of Arthur Conan Doyle. But the fact is that Doyle was a fabrication, and the others were real.
Brooke: That sounds unlikely.
Len: Bear with me. Because Sherlock had discovered the secret of eternal youth people would become suspicious if they just kept living on and on. So they persuaded Doyle to be their “beard” and present himself as the author to publishers.
Brooke: Why would they do that?
Len: Because by becoming mythical creatures they could live on well after Doyle died. I think that is what you are trying to do with me.
Brooke: Huh? You’re not making any sense.
Len: You want Len Bakerloo to be the mythical version of you so that when you kick the bucket I can live on.
Brooke: You’ll be my “mythical-me” – That sounds way too Doctor Evil to me.
Len: Also, I think you are using me as a literary device so that you can talk about good and evil without people getting all I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I about it.
Brooke: This is getting too weird. I’m outta here.
Len: That’s fine. I’ve got it from here.