As princessgos pointed out, the Pattersons take a lot of pretty-much undeserved credit for Gordon Mayes's happiness. Sure, John handed him the seed money to get the ball rolling but most, if not all, of the subsequent improvements were all Gordo. All the Pattersons really did is sit back and collect their slice of the Mayes money cake. They still think, though, that he's somehow beholden to them, don't they? They could not be more wrong. The exact second Gordon payed off his loan, he was his own man and, what's more, knew it. His tuft-hunting is just for show as he flatters the people riding his coattails. He knows these people have an inflated notion of their position in the community and how to deal with them. As a matter of fact, I'll bet the real reason for the big turnout at Mike's book launch is that Gordo's loser buddy finally had a turn of good luck and they wanted to congratulate him.