56 DC VELOCITY AUGUST 2019 www.dcvelocity.com
DOWN A LITTLE DIRT ROAD IN THE LITTLE CAPE COD
beach town of Orleans sits a little house—probably no bigger
than five or six rooms. Painted a distinctive shade of purple and
owned by an older gent who sports a gray ponytail and favors
tie-dyed shirts, it looks on the outside to be just another hippie
house. But what’s inside makes it someplace special.
That funky little house is actually a quirky little record shop
that’s a veritable goldmine of rare, vintage rock ’n’ roll recordings.
Seldom have I ventured through its doors and not found something unexpected and unique. It’s a small slice of heaven for a
child of the ’60s and ’70s with an appetite for hard-to-find works
from the artists who defined rock ’n’ roll.
Little did I know when I sat down for dinner
on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, that this little purple
house would trigger what would end up being
a life-changing conversation. I was in Orlando,
Fla., with nearly 50 of the world’s most distinguished logistics and supply chain professionals, who had gathered for the taping of a special
video series to mark the 50th anniversary of
the Council of Supply Chain Management
Professionals. It’s no exaggeration to say everywhere I turned, I saw another industry legend.
As I filled my salad plate at the buffet and
That long-time acquaintance was Richard
Murphy, CEO of Murphy Warehouse Co., a Minneapolis-based
logistics services company renowned for its eco-friendly business
practices. Over the years, it has invested heavily in energy conservation, recycling, improved stormwater runoff, and more—all
aimed at mitigating its operations’ impact on the environment
and the community. Ever humble, Richard always insisted what
he was doing wasn’t all that special, “just some common-sense
stuff.” We all knew otherwise.
As I took my seat, the conversation started with the usual
business-event small talk. “You are from Boston, right?” Richard
asked. “Guilty!” I replied.
“Do you ever get out to Cape Cod?” he asked. “Every summer,
and for as many days as I can get away with,” I joked.
“Are you familiar with Orleans?” he asked. “I sure am,” I
answered. “It is right next door to Eastham. We’ve been spending
a week or two in July there since the kids were school-aged.”
Richard related he had just been there the previous
month. This struck me as somewhat odd. Plenty of
folks go to Cape Cod in the summer, but what in
the world was Richard doing there in October? The
sidewalks have long since been rolled up by that time
“Believe it or not, there’s this old hippie who sells
hard-to-find, vintage rock music out of a little pur-Apparently, the smile that
spread across my face was large.
Richard asked what was so funny.