The group was animated, and it was a very festive dinner. The conversation was great -- far better than the steaks! Our discussions circled around Berkshire Hathaway -- I told the group about a lot of "
little known facts
" I had learned about Warren, and I entertained the group with some
commonalities between The Oracle and myself
Andrew reminisced about the previous meetings he had attended, and Steve Roth told some extraordinary stories about his experiences with Warren, who was on the board of directors of Vornado before Steve took control of the company in the late 1970s. Steve eventually bought out Warren's Vornado stock position! Others, like Lee, had equally interesting stories about Warren.
Later in the evening, Andrew -- who was, for the fifth year, a panelist at the annual meeting -- reminded me to have some alternative queries in the event that my questions were asked by others. Fortunately, I was already well-prepared for that.
Our three-hour dinner finally ended, and we returned to the hotel, where I finished off the edits to my questions.
Noah and I awoke early Saturday, had some coffee and ran over to the convention center to reserve seats for my buddies. Though we arrived nearly one-and-a-half hours early, the entire convention center's seating was almost completely filled!
We managed to reserve eight seats in the nosebleed section, though there was still a reasonable view of the stage.
After putting T-shirts on the chairs (thanks, Mikey, for that thoughtful present of "Go Dougie Go -- Omaha 2013" T-shirts for the group), Noah and I ventured down to the stage, where I was to present my questions.
From there we went into the exhibition area next to the convention center, where many of Berkshire Hathaway's subsidiaries were selling merchandise --
Fruit of the Loom
and so on. Even Geico had booths selling automobile insurance!
I spent nearly $250 on assorted merchandise to bring back to New York and Florida for my friends, and especially for two of my analysts -- Kelley Hopkins and Nick Pollari -- who helped me with my one-and-a-half months of researching for questions. Among the products I bought were Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger boxer shorts and Berkshire Hathaway hats and T-shirts. I even purchased five basketballs signed by "Handles," a member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. (Naturally, "Sweet Georgia Brown," the Globetrotters theme song, was playing throughout the concession booths.)