From the Wires
We Check's First Honorary Driver, Bill Bowser
By: Marketwired .
Jan. 17, 2013 03:00 AM
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/17/13 -- We Check Inc. is proud to announce the induction of Bill Bowser as We Check's honorary "Colorado Driver." Mr. Bowser will have the honor of being our first inductee.
Mr. Bowser's story has been well told. We will not tell his story again but will simply make some insights about his life. Mr. Bowser takes little credit for his accomplishments while still striving to give credit to those who believed in him through the years. When you talk with those whom he worked with, they give the credit back to him. "Bill Bowser never quit on anything." This is the response most often given from his former colleagues.
Bill worked in the repossession industry as a young man, until one day he repossessed a gentleman's car that did not appreciate it too much. After that experience Bill decided to look for another profession. It was not long before the repossession industry called him back. This time Bill expanded his trade into tires and batteries. Bill is more than happy to show off the tools that he and his people developed to hasten his trade. He makes the statement, "I could repo a set of tires in 4 minutes," and somehow you believe he still could today at 80 years old.
One must understand that back in the day there were no credit cards. Credit history had to be very solid in order to buy goods or products on payments; it really didn't matter what service or product you produced. They were all looking for a way to expand customer sales. The repo industry produced that effect. As much as 25% of retail sales would have never happened if not for the "Repo Men." At that time, one in six workers in the United States were working in the automotive industry. You can see what a difference people in the repossession business made. Many more businesses participated in the retail boom because of people like Bill Bowser. It is easy to give people like him credit for saving the economy in some of the darker times. Being able to get back the products you sold when a payment was not received was a real shot in the arm for businesses. Repo men allowed more people to participate in the economy.
Bill continued his trade for many years, until running into another man that did not appreciate his car being repossessed. This time Bill was caught off guard and the man beat him into a coma. After a long stay in the hospital, Bill's doctors gave him the bad news. No more head trauma, for fear that next time he might not wake up. Bill's wife said "no more." Bill, not being a quitter, came up with a plan. He would hire an employee specifically to be his body guard. That seemed to settle objections and Bill continued his life's work.
One night on a stake out, Bill was working to repossess a real desperado's car. Bill had parked in an alley, which was across the street from a well know Colfax bar to observe the parking lot. You would not believe how he came up with the theory that this individual, from Los Angeles, might be in this location. Bill was working this investigation with the FBI, who also wanted to question this person on another matter. With all this action, Bill happened to notice that the motel parking lot was full of the bar patrons' cars. The motel operator was unable to rent rooms because of the lack of parking. When a group of young men parked in a no parking zone by the front door of the motel and headed for the bar, an older gentleman who owned the motel had to confront them. Bill observed the young men harassing the older man and sprang into action. While his bodyguard was trying to keep up, Bill was able to convince the young men to park elsewhere. The older gentleman explained to Bill how much his business had been suppressed by the people frequenting the bar. The man went on to explain he was in constant conversations with the police. All they would do is ticket the cars, which was of no value to his business. The motel owner was very frustrated and concerned. Bill knew he had to help this business owner. He had to come up with a plan.
Have you ever had an idea to make some process easier? We all have them. We are involved in some task and we come up with an idea to streamline the project. The idea fades. Then 6 months later you walk into a store and there is your idea for sale. Bill is one of those people that would never let a good idea fade.
Bill pondered his new idea for the next few days. He had come up with a plan. His repossession business took a lot of investigation. He was only using his trucks after the investigations were completed, leaving his drivers with plenty of free time. Bill quickly realized he could take that wasted time and make good use of it; by helping business people serve their customers and make more money. Bill would post no parking signs around the motel property and tow the violating Colfax bar patrons' cars. It was an immediate success not only for Bill's company but for the motel owner. Bill had just invented the "Illegal Parking Industry."
In a short period, Bill had expanded his business not only in the Denver area, but to Kansas City as well. Business owners loved his new program because it allowed businesses to keep parking open, without having to pay a towing company to remove illegally park cars. It was making a huge difference in their sales. His only problem was that the public was really upset. They had been getting by with parking wherever they wanted for years, and Bill's new program created a learning process. The state government had no policies to regulate "Illegal Parking." Bill's idea was running into problems and it was not long before the press crucified him. There were not a lot of facts being discussed about Bill's new program. The business owners, who were doing much better because of the program, were never interviewed. Although Bill's message had been great for the economy, all the public wanted to do was crucify the messenger.
Bill had towed some pretty important people's cars. The $25 charge was a lot of money back then. Bill was experiencing more and more outbursts from the citizens. Bill had even been arrested. At this point lawsuits were beginning to be filed by the dozens. Bill knew he had to re-group. After evaluating the situation, Bill decided to leave his Denver operations, and move to Kansas City to take over management of that facility. This time Bill took a new track, and worked more closely with the city. Bill explained his program more precisely to business organizations in order to foster a better understanding with the public. It worked, and within a couple of years he had his Colorado operation open again.
I recently made a trip to Denver to interview Bill for this article. On my way home I thought about Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers. What if they had been persecuted the way Bill had over their iconic ideas? Flying Machines-Horseless Carriages! Would the American economy have suffered? As you can see, I place Bill with this kind of elite company. Bill took an idea, turned it into an enterprise, and built it into a thriving industry that changed America. Bill Bowser made a real difference! Icon is an excellent word to use when describing Bill.
After all of this, you would think that Bill was a rich man. He had books written about his life, and at one point a movie was going into production (we all hope that the movie is one day produced). He lives in a meager home on the southwest of Denver with his wife Sue and their dog Angel. The walls and shelves of his office drip with the history of their lives. His fish are always 4 inches longer and his opponents are always 6 inches taller. No one tells a story better than Bill, every word is mesmerizing. Everyone seems to share the conclusion of his stories with, "Bill Bowser never quit."
In closing, We Check Inc. is proud to announce Bill Bowser as our first honorary 'Colorado Driver' inductee. Bill has also agreed to join us at We Check. He will tell us a new story on the wecheckinc.com site every other week. We all believe that Bill's stories need to be recorded.
We invite all of you to the We Check site, wecheckinc.com, to read Bill's stories. You also might want to buy a copy of one of Bill's books, which is available on our site.
To Bill Bowser, thank for your contributions to our industry. Many of us are lucky and honored that we call you our friend.
Oh by the way, Bill got the desperado's car, and because of that the FBI got their man.
We Check Inc.
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