There are times I look back and wonder WTF. Let me tell you – the transition from being at Witcomb USA to working alone had highs and lows. I find a letter carbon like this (below) and am reminded of how absolutely impulsive my decisions were once I made the commitment to leave.
There was a brief period when everything in East Haddam was going swimmingly well. Our dealers were hustling orders for us, the frames had a good following, and Peter and I, along with Gary Sinkus, had a prodigious output especially considering that we were learning as we went.
My memory is cloudy on the details but I won’t let it stop me. At some point we met with the suits from Reynolds and spec-ed out a tube set that would be as close to propriety as we’d get in those days. I suppose we had some grand plans; I just don’t recall what they were.
As you can see from the note to Mr. Thompson, a larger parcel of pipes was ordered but we only accepted 20% what was committed to. My guess, in hindsight, is that Ed (Allen, our boss) wanted more of a just-in-time inventory and didn’t want to sit on years’ worth of goods.
In 1975, I spent the spring and all summer getting ready to launch my brand. These were different times. If you wanted material, you had to plan ahead, go to the mill and write a contract to buy, and then wait for delivery. My intention was to parachute in, purchase some of the tubing that my soon to be former employer left Reynolds holding, and get busy by autumn.
Again, all of this is me arranging pieces of a 40+ year old puzzle.