When Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play
Twenty-five years ago, I was hunkered down in the basement office of my old home in Montclair (an Oakland suburb), staring at the tiny flickering black-and-white screen of my little Macintosh Plus, waiting for what seemed to be an interminable amount of time between screen builds, as I switched from full screen to page view and back again.
What was I doing? I was putting the finishing touches on the premier edition of The Institutional Real Estate Letter — the Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1989 issue. That very first edition would have a cover story about the retail property markets and an interview with Roger Franz, then a real estate investment officer with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (at the time, a $49 billion fund). And my goodness, it was a dreadful, amateurish piece of work, replete with poor grammar and typographical errors. One of the columns of numbers didn’t even add up properly. But it was fresh, it was new, and even fr