Payton remembered The late Walter Payton, who died Nov. 1, was the guest speaker at a Wholesale Tire Co. weekend sales seminar on Long Island, N.Y., in February. The meeting was attended by WTC customers and suppliers. The last person you would have expected to be there was Walter Payton.
It was announced a few days prior to the event that Walter was diagnosed with a rare liver ailment and told only a liver transplant could save his life. However, that didn't alter his plans to fly from Chicago to New York in bitter cold weather to honor a prior commitment to Bob Lico of WTC and Walter's good friend, John Gamauf, Bridgestone/Firestone vice president of consumer tire sales.
I had the good fortune to attend that meeting with my son, Michael. Walter spoke at length to a large group on that Saturday morning. There was a hushed silence in the crowded room as he began to talk about his life experiences and how they apply to building successful business practices.
Walter's humor and genuine charm quickly emerged as he interacted with the audience, putting everyone completely at ease. He had the ability to treat every individual with warmth and respect, illustrating how he earned the nickname, "Sweetness."
Walter spoke about the importance of family and the quality of life while never drawing attention to his own condition. You could see the effects of the ailment already had taken off some of the weight from his muscular physique, but his spirit was undaunted throughout his time with us.
The record-setting 21,803 all-purpose yards and 16,726 rushing yards Walter Payton gained over his illustrious 13-year career make him arguably the greatest football player of all time. Those yards don't begin to measure the quality of Walter Payton, the man.
Hansel Tire Corp.
On-site service since '89
Your Aug. 16 issue carried an article about Conrad's Tire Service in Cleveland initiating a program to bring a mobile, full-service tire store to the customer's door.
I had this same idea in 1989 and founded my company—Tirefast Inc.—on the concept. Ours was the first dealership I know of to provide such on-site tire service, including computerized wheel balancing.
I launched the company with one truck and a desire to introduce a new service to the public. We now operate six fully-equipped service trucks and have 12 employees.
Michelin's Alliance Program is our primary tire source. But we do offer other tire brands as well as custom wheels.
The company generated sales of over $1 million in 1998 and is forecasting $1.7 million for 2000. This all in the Houston area.
Reads cartoons first
We enjoyed reading the article about Dave Harbaugh, Tire Business' cartoonist, in the Oct. 25 issue.
One of the first things I look for when we receive our issue is the cartoon on the editorial page. I've clipped many of them to share with our employees. Thanks, Dave, for making us laugh—especially at ourselves.
McCord ByPass Tire