Installment Five of the History of the Fletcher Flyer
by Joe Sechler
As some may recall we were having rest stop problems at Brannon & Turnpike Rds and the one at the end of South Mills, I had to do a little business development and recruit land owners for two new rest stops: one being at S. Rugby & Hwy 64, and the other at School House & Banner. Coincidentally, Bill Crownover, Bob Edsall and I did half of the Fletcher Flyer (in November) and stopped at the strip shops at S. Rugby & Hwy 64. Pam, the same lady that I initially recruited (the owner) came out to greet us and we had a good chat during which time I thanked her for allowing the Club to still use her location, pointing out the good that all the money raised was doing, both for local needs and the LLS fund raising.
Shane Cooper, the owner of DeFeet Socks has been very accommodating to us. I don’t believe DeFeet ever made much money from us, but after getting a few wrinkles ironed out, they came through for us. I’ve pasted below the introduction from the DeFeet web site. I believe I told you that my son-in-law raced with Shane and are still good friends.
It is terrific to see that teams have been established for running the FF with an overall Director – a far cry from when you and I did virtually all of the planning and organizing ourselves, notwithstanding the enormous operational help provided by Pat and Frances and certainly by Jim and Val. So glad you gave them a lot of recognition. I’m amazed at how the club has grown in a number of ways.
DeFeet Socks – Made for Driven Soles. This company stands for innovation, spirit, and craftsmanship for the sports we love. At the age of 4, Shane Cooper arrived in the United States from England. His father distributed knitting machines, and in the late 1960’s there was plenty of knitting happening in the Eastern part of this country. Shane grew up around knitting machines, but took more of an interest in bicycles and musical instruments. By the early 1990’s, Shane decided that it was time to produce something truly World Class. It was not his racing, and it was not the music his band was making. It was an entirely new way to knit a sock. He called the first model the Aireator®. The world had never seen a sock like it. It was the first open mesh weave airflow design sock, totally customizable. DeFeet was born. The year was 1992. …
As we all know, there is less knitting happening in the United States than there was when Shane’s father emigrated. In fact, there is a whole lot less manufacturing going on, period. DeFeet doesn’t want to join in, throw in the towel and quit manufacturing. To us, that would be like paying someone else to play our music for us. We ARE the band. We LIKE to make our own stuff. Harvard MBA’s tell us we’re dumb for making our stuff here. We call them out. We’ll go for a ride with those guys any day and attack them until they’re dropped. They can find their own way home (mind to steer wide of the banjo’s, though).