I have known Ralph Randall ever since the early ’90s. We were sitting in folding lawn chairs in a front lawn in the 4000 block of Purdue, with friends, who had one of those jump-houses on the lawn for their daughter’s birthday party. Ralph Randall came by to “sit” for a spell, and I met him for the very first time. Our friends were leasing a house from Helena Underwood Sparling, Ralph’s very first broker. He was probably the funniest man I had ever met, and I was cracking up in between rescuing little ones flying around in the jumpy house. Good Lord, I thought, how nice he is to sit here with us boring parents and these bouncing off-the-wall children and be so calm, so funny, so gracious, so knowledgeable about the market. (It was a lousy market, we were all depressed about it, our friends were wealth managers so you can imagine the prodding. And prodding.) Ralph lived just next door or around the corner with his grandmother and made that kind of impression on you that you would indeed, most indeed, call upon him the next time the world perked up and one started buying real estate again and the entire experience would be flawless.
In fact, call him I did, about fifteen years after that.
Last Sunday, October 20th, Ralph Randall celebrated the close of his 30th year in Dallas residential real estate. He feted clients, friends and colleagues of three decades with fantastic nibbles, libations, accolades and yes, a toast! The party was absolutely lovely, with Ralph holding court at Parigi’s where he dines daily, according to rumor.
“You know, my kitchen is slip-covered,” he quipped as he thanked the restaurant’s owner, Janice Provost.
Guests included Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Lyn and John Muse, Helena Underwood Sparling (his first broker) and Ebby Halliday herself! Real estate associates and friends from all three decades of his career and even his collegiate life joined in the celebration.
“The list of friends and clients, past and present is simply overwhelming!” exclaimed Randall, who was scripting the speech carefully right up to the delivery.
The perfect Bachelor, the perfect gentleman, every lady was given a long stemmed rose, her choice of color, to take home! Ralph still carries the distinction of having sold the most expensive lot in Highland Park, the Preston Road acreage he sold to Lyn and John Muse in the year 2000, and of course, the most expensive sale in Dallas, the near 9 acre Preston Hollow estate of Joyce and Larry Lacerte he sold for them in 2009, purchased by Energy Transfers billionaire Kelsey Warren.
PS: Ralph also has a razor-sharp memory. It was he who reminded me not only of the decade, but the very block in which we first met!