My wife’s grandfather ran a small town grocery store in Bedford,Virginia until his retirement in 1966.
Flash forward forty-five years to 6:00 AM on a recent morning when I helped to unload my last trailer load of band fruit (fundraiser) at my daughter’s high school. In the early morning hours, I was at the end of the roller conveyor catching boxes of fruit as it came off of the truck and sending it down another into the band room. During the forty-some minutes this process was going on, I chatted with the driver about various things, including his dog who was asleep in the cab. He talked of finding his canine companion on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke. This resulted in my asking if he was from the Roanoke area, and he said he was from Bedford.
Upon finding out that he was from my wife’s grandparent’s home town, we got to talking about more local kinds of things, such as where people lived and worked, etc. It turns out that as a boy, the driver’s mother was a regular customer at Grandpa’s store. He told me he remembered the old man from when he’d tag along with his mother when she did the marketing. Needless to say, I was reminded what a small world ours is, to be able to speak fondly of a mutual friend forty-five years plus after the fact.
Since the world is interconnected through the various relationships we have, I have to think of the many wonderful relationships I have developed over the last twenty-four years as a member of CSI. The relationships cultivated through the years have resulted in enhanced professional development beyond the plethora of CSI sponsored educational programs I have attended.
By being active in the organization, I have come to know hundreds of professionals from all over the country who are willing to share their experience and knowledge. As a result, there have been multiple occasions where I would pick up the phone with a question and one of my CSI friends would be able to get me the correct answer. On other occasions, I’ve been more than happy to reciprocate.
By having this large network at my disposal, I have been blessed both professionally and personally because of my membership. I have to say that CSI is probably the most economical professional organization I belong to, in spite of holding membership in multiple chapters. Even if the dues weren’t what they are, the value is far higher than the memberships I have in organizations with far more expensive dues.
With that said, I would strongly encourage construction related professionals, and especially students in construction related curricula to join. Getting involved is easy, simply go to www.csinet.org and follow the directions. I’m certain you won’t regret it, and perhaps, someone may remember you to a mutual acquaintance in forty-some years.