It's been awhile since I've rambled on. We've had a lot going on, and still do but I was just thinking about what my customers do for me and thought I'd share it.
Since this business is more of a hobby, it allows me to be in touch with aviators from all backgrounds and experiences. My guy Georgio, who flies ultralights in Italy (yes, I have pictures on our site). Nails, who saved a Marine Corp unit under fire by VC...just he and his crew, his helo and flachette rockets (thus the call sign "Nails"). Stories about flying DC-6s and 707s back in the days when airline careers were legendary. A ball cap sent to someone's Dad who flew Lancasters for the RCAF and another to a Grandfather who flew Jugs and Mustangs for the Air Corps in WWII. It's amazing who you get to know just from selling a few ball caps. George and Ike, both 'old fighter pilots', who have now passed on to fly west. I just wish I could hook up my Chaplain friend with their families! As he would say "Blessings from Father Jeff", but I still like to call him Padre! We have an ongoing list of folks who "checked in" with their call signs on our home page. Which reminds me that I've got to update that list again.
Back to the point of the story though. Many of my customers become acquaintances, and some even become friends. It usually starts with a note from me, thanking them for their order and maybe commenting on something I notice about their order or home town. The feedback I get for such simple observations is amazing, and our conversations begin. Since we're always looking to pass the word, I usually ask this of my customers, and sometimes they overwhelm me. Like Roger from Dallas who is a retired Delta pilot. He liked my hats and service enough to recommend our site to his group. The next day we sold out of Delta Captain ball caps and had to re-order.
We don't just get recommendations and great stories. I've got standing invitations to visit from around the country, Germany, Canada and Australia. If I only had the time to get to those places (and NOT while having to work flying there and back). Just this week I got the book "Steel Beach" signed by its author Jeff, who is a cancer survivor like my wife Connie. This gift was what brought me to write today! I've gotten USAF bag tags, patches from different units and even from the Gathering of Mustangs. Hats, pictures, articles... these folks I call customers are just too much. Too kind. I think it's just the common ground we all share. We've all been there, or know someone who has. Whether it's flying, or work, or just surviving your worst fear. I guess that's why I still do it. My wife says I enjoy it too much. She encourages me, supports and loves me...and understands when I take an hour (or two) out of my day just to communicate with folks I may never meet.
I wish to thank my wife Connie, who tolerates all of this, and really helps keep things moving in the right direction. And I thank you, my customers and friends. You make this business not only possible, but worthwhile.
Find us at pilotballcaps.com