By Brant Mackey
A couple of weeks ago late in the evening an email popped in my inbox. The subject line said “Been a while” and my address book recognized it as an old acquaintance, Craig Williams. I had not heard from him in years.
The email began with, “Remembering the first edition as I read today’s … good to see you still going …” It continued with Williams taking the time and effort to type several paragraphs to bring me up to date on his business, which I read with interest. He concluded with, “Life has changed and yet is has stayed the same. You are still selling ads and we are still charging by the image. Better technology has made it easier and cheaper but nothing can replace the experience of a man who has worked decades at something … Pride in workmanship shows, money follows …”
Williams is someone I used to call on in the early days when I was traipsing around Springfield introducing the Business Journal and myself to the community. He did not use a “gatekeeper” and always took a few minutes to speak with me when I stopped by so I was careful not to abuse the privilege. It was a relief to visit his office in comparison to the numerous other stops with the arduous task trying to get into see someone, anyone, somewhere else. He would tell me what was he was working on at Commicrofilm and ask how the Business Journal was doing. Williams had a genuine interest and even advertised once in a while.
When Williams sold his building to LRS Web Services years ago and moved to North Dirksen, he fell off both my route and radar and unfortunately, I lost touch.
As I was reading his ‘Been a while’ email I became nostalgic. It was great to hear from him. I also realized that if I was feeling this good from hearing from an old friend that I could do a better job tracking down some of the other old guard of people I have not seen in years and check in with them.
Every month we make a point to hand deliver a copy of the Business Journal to our advertisers. It is our way of checking in so that they have the opportunity to speak with us to share concerns or compliments. It helps to maintain a healthy relationship.
Williams is a reminder of not only how easy it is to lose touch with someone but also how rewarding it can be to reconnect.
Brant Mackey is publisher and editor of Springfield Business Journal.