I'm thinking it was 2006 when I first met Dave.
Dave had this really cool setup for printing color envelopes on one of the first Oki color A3 laser print engines. At that time Dave definitely had one printer running and If I remember correctly had a few more that were primed for back ups.
Back in 2006 it was quite uncommon to see a color laser printer that would feed envelopes without wrinkling them. Could have also been because I only carried the Ricoh brand and back in 2006 they were not so good with feeding envelopes.
I'm a hardware junkie, show me a print device that prints something new and my mind starts to spin out of control. I knew I needed to learn more about the process and thought at some time in the future that I may have a print device that I could sell Dave.
Each year thereafter for the next thirteen years I would pay Dave a visit at least once or twice a year. I was really thankful when he moved his business closer to where I lived.
Over that time frame I gleaned a lot of information from Dave when it came to ink based printers that could run envelopes. In recent years the choice of print engines that Dave used leaned more towards ink printers with the Memjet Waterfall print head. From time to time he would also have a few of the HP's ink based printers with the Page Wide Technology. For me, Dave was the guru of envelope printing, he had so much knowledge that manufacturers actually sent him print devices to evaluate.
From time to time Dave allowed me to demonstrate of couple of ink print devices. Alas I never had a product that could meet all of his needs with low ink cost, quality and speed. I usually had one or the other but never had the complete package. Since I knew many print shops in my territory I was more than happy to tell him about those DM's. From time to time I was able to throw some leads his way.
Over those thirteen years Dave and I never did any business. To tell you the truth that was probably a good thing since you never know how some print devices will perform. Usually when they don't perform is when the relationship can sour. But, I enjoyed stopping and talking shop with Dave, I would comment on new technology and he would give me the low down on some of the really neat print devices that he had. His knowledge helped me with other clients that were in the market for color envelope presses.
I think it was about 18 months ago that Dave told me he was going to sell the business and move out of state. He had his reasons and they were legit but I'm not going to mention them here. Still I stopped in from time to time to see how he was and where he was at with his plans.
Dave emailed me over the weekend and stated that he would like to take me to lunch sometime this week. I agreed and we had lunch today. We had a great chat about my new found brother and Dave told me that he has two adopted children (that's awesome). I then asked how he was doing with the sale of the business. Dave stated that this was the last few days, he had sold all of his equipment and would be moving in the next few weeks.
We had a great time at lunch and was probably one of the first times we didn't talk shop. We developed a great relationship and respect for each other over those years. On the way out Dave handed me an envelope, inside that envelope was an awesome thank you card for all of the time we spent together.
I know that Dave reads my blogs and I'm hoping he reads this one. I will miss our technology chats, I will miss our chats about our families and miss the time that we spent together.