Allie was the first. When I got the phone call back in 1998, I had no clue how it would change my life. A week or so before her call, her son sent her a new computer, an Apple, and she had not taken it out of the box, let alone turn it on and he needed to send her important documents.
Turns out we both used the same dentist and on one particular visit, I fixed a computer problem he was having with an office PC. When Allie came in later the same day, nearly in tears, he gave her my number saying I could probably help her out.
At the time I worked for the U.S. Postal Service, but since a young boy, loved computers. So when she called, I said I would do what I could. I came over the next day and in short order, had her computer out of the box and running, and signed her up for an AOL account. She became an emailing fiend.
She then asked if I would give her lessons on how to use her Mac. When I told her I had no clue how to use a Mac, being a Windows guy, she handed me a book (Macs for Dummies), told me to read the first chapter and then come back the next week and teach her. And so I did.
In all my life, I’ve never met a woman who enjoyed life or learning more than Allie. Year after year, we worked on many things. Each week we typed up that days lesson and soon we had “Allie’s Book”. I branched out, buying her TVs and other electronics. I did her car shopping. You name it, I did it.
Soon she told friends about me and a part time business sprung up. When I quit the Postal Service to be a stay-at-home dad, she told even more people and brought more clients to my door. In 2011, when I decided to do this full time, once again, she put out the word and my business increased yet again.
During our visits we talked about more than just computers. We shared a love for animals, as she provided a home to dogs, cats, horses and more. She took a great interest when my Twins were born and was not shy in offering parenting advice. There was nothing about Allie I didn’t love.
Two weeks ago, Allie passed away. Over the last few years her health continued to decline and our visits became rarer. I saw her for the last time a few months ago in the Kroger parking lot. Despite her poor health, she still greeted me with a laugh and a smile.
She was my Alpha customer. She was my dear friend. She will always be “The First”.