Crossfire Engineering actually started in 1963 while I was a full time student in night school and working as a mechanic in a garage that serviced a sand and gravel trucking company and a taxi cab fleet I worked during the day and two or three classes at night. After class I would return to the garage to play guitars, drink beer and build exotic engines for ourselves with the night shift. There were always cars of friends requiring some modification or another but around 1969 at a lunch contract bridge game in the corporate research center where I was a guidance and control engineer a corporate executive who was an opponent at the table I just sat down at said he was dissatisfied with this company car and the dealer could do nothing to help the low power problem he had. I said half jokingly that if I took his car home that night he would have it in the morning running the way he wanted it to. He called my bluff and we swapped cars that night and in the morning he was a happy VP. He might have been happy because he got to drive my car which was very fast. His bill was for three hours labor and no parts and he wanted to know what I did to make it run so fast for no parts or real time. My answer from that time forward was “That information is on a need to know basis” and smile. I was doing executive cars in a friends garage and my bills were on a corporate xeroxed invoice with my letterhead of
A Private Moonlight Executive Auto Service
For The Performance Loving Engineering Executive
By Engineers and Technicians.
I opened a machine shop and gunsmithing business in 1981 in the cellar of my home. I had a Bridgeport knee mill and a support tool makers lathe. I had the machinists I worked with for years inside the company work for me when they retired. The name Crossfire was taken as it incorporated our Catholic Christian beliefs with the gunsmith business and the furnace steel fixture doors to allow the people wanted to use the new high efficient oil burners in their old coal converted units around my area. Fire of the Spirit, gun fire and oil fired burner doors seemed representative of our products.
In 1984 we incorporated in Connecticut and became Crossfire Engineering, Inc. and began serving the military and industrial community with custom designed cast magnesium vibration fixtures. In 1985 we began selling our fixtures internationally to several NATO countries.
In 1987 we began a small beer and wine making business as a place for my wife to play shop keeper and decorate a little shop in a strip mall. Because her health was deteriorating due to lung cancer I retired from engineering and did most of the work and she could still come over and decorate the shop and big front display window. About four months into the shop business the local paper sales guy came over and said that they were getting into the internet business and I could have a website with them because I was advertising in their paper.The only thing that appealed to me was he said if I did not like it in 6 month I could get my money back. I told him I would not like it in six months and would like my money back in cash.
He said no problem. Well as the six months rolled around I found that their web guy was no programmer and got into making websites for all the little shops in the mall for free just to learn and kill the time I spent in the shop.Shop keeping in our business was not very busy except for two hours before closing. So the websites made every one happy and me a lot less bored. I kept track of where everyone that came in the door heard about the shop and found that almost 30% found us on the internet. Shortly there after the mall owner came in and started to tell me that my business looked very good and the rent was doubling. I said o problem but I will be out or the shop by end of the lease. So in four days I was gone with the blessing that I did the websites for my biggest supplier and he took back all the unopened stock for what I paid for it. I got rid of the rest of it in a garage sale.
I took a part of what I sold and made it into a home operated internet business business and specialized in bar and restaurant equipment on line. We were the first and the business took off with many more websites to do for other suppliers and even the competition because of the way our website, KegMan Products,operated. My wife Judy died in 2005 and in 2007 when this hobby became to big to be fun anymore I sold it and just continued on with the websites I did for others. KegMan Products is still operating today by the same person who bought it from me.
In 2008 I married my first love and moved the business to Pennsylvania until she could retire as a VA nurse. This marriage was first proposed in 1968 but but she said she wanted to finish her nursing education. I went off sad with a few comments to the Lord and marries my wife of 34 years Judy in 1972. Judy had died in 2005 from heart failure due to chemotherapy for lung cancer. I interviewed with the bishops representative, arranged by my pastor. The topic was entering the monastery to enter the priest hood. I also made some arrangements with the Franciscan Monks I had known for years and was deciding between the two when word came down from the bishop. He told me my life was in too much turmoil to make any real decision about that big a commitment and give my self time to recover for three years. But after about two and a half years I thought or was inspired to think I should talk to a few women and see if the monastic life was for me. I knew many that really did not interest me so called the girl I proposed to in 1968 just to talk. Well a year later I we were married and I thought about how God even listened that rant 40 years before. I had sold the business just before economy tanked and then sod the Connecticut house before all the banks stopped lending money. The guy who bought it had to go through four banks to buy the house each time he would get approved and it seamed right after the engineer would come form the bank to inspect the house the bank would collapse and he would have to get another bank. He was persistent and the forth bank lasted long enough for him to close. I moved my machine shop,belongings and two dog to Pennsylvania. I registered there as a foreign corporation and did business as Crossfire Software.
Moved to Tucson a week before Thanksgiving and had a pacemaker installed the day before Turkey Day and home for Turkey dinner. For the rest of the story see № 21