Weekly Workout at Health Club for 53 years 1963

I would do Monday through Friday work out at a health club for 53 years starting in 1963. I got involved with health matters because of R.E. Bob Smith, R E. Bob Smith was an oil man, R.E. Smith everybody called him Bob and he was a health nut, if that’s the right word and he had been a boxer as a young man.

Weekly Workout at Health Club for 53 years 1963

In 1953, Welcome became executive assistant to his best friend, Texas oilman and philanthropist R.E. (Bob) Smith.

So he and I started by doing what we call road work, today it would be call jogging but nobody ran in those days, in the early 60’s.  So, we would run through River Oaks near his house and that started our exercise program.  But then in the early 60’s the first health club in Houston opened. It was named the President’s Health Club and theoretically. You had to be a President of your company to join the health club but actually, they would take money from anybody who had it to join. 

So, every day at 1:00 o’ clock I would get a telephone call from R.E. Bob Smith, who by the way would be considered a billionaire today. And he would say Mr. Welcome time to go. Then I would leave my office and meet him at the President’s Health Club. We would work out for about an hour.  Afterward, we would go to the sidebar a Vitac cool which is a vitamin drink that they served. I’ll never forget many years later there drinking a Vitac cool. When he would pull out a check for millions of dollars and we would try to decide whether or not he wanted to sell something. Anyway, he was my best friend at the time, he was 65 years old, I was 25.


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“Welcome’s efforts as an entrepreneur have enriched the community, led to better lives for untold numbers of fellow Texans, and inspired generations of admirers and followers to do greater things. My hope is that through reading this book, you will come to know Welcome W. Wilson, Sr., as I have–as a brilliant businessman, a loving family man and a proud Houstonian.”

Rick Perry
Rick PerryUS Secretary of Energy & former Governor of Texas
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