About

I've been called a lot of things in my life. Many flattering, many motivating, and many you won't get me to repeat here. So when customers in Bill's started calling me "Junior" 20 years ago during my first year of work here, I just smiled. I was the new fresh face, in my early thirties who looked like the heir apparent to succeed "Bill" at his store. I just had to be his son, why else would I be here? Well, I did indeed succeed "Bill" when he decided to retire a few years after I started. But that just started the fun.

The second name change of my life soon ensued, from Junior to Bill. After the local newspaper ran an article regarding the store changing hands on its 30th anniversary, something had to done. "Bill" had retired, but people still wanted to talk to "BILL". So I figured I'd just let everyone know that there never was a "BILL". You see, "BILL's" name was actually Howard. For 25 years, customers had always referred to Howard as "BILL". If you walked into the store and asked for Bill, we all knew who you meant, and off to his office we'd escort you. Not too many people knew the owner's real name was Howard. I asked Howard once why he didn't inform people his name wasn't really Bill. Howard just shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and said it came with the territory.

In reality, the Short Hills store was his second location, the first being in Irvington. He actually bought the Irvington business, named Bills Army Navy, from a guy really named Bill, who was moving out of the area. Not wanting to mess up a well known name (and more likely to save on having to print new business cards) Bills Army Navy of Millburn was established in 1971.

So after Howard retired, my new name became Bill almost overnight. Determined not to loose my identity a second time to some misplaced convenience, I set out to tell everyone my name is Lee, and yes, "Bill" had retired and sold me his store, but really my name was Lee and honestly its ok you call me Lee. But the new name stuck just like the older "Junior". After all these years, it's happened to me too, I've become "BILL". To this day, I can call a vendor, or a salesman, and say 'HI, this is Lee from Bill's Army Navy" and almost to a person, they reply, "Hi Bill", then laugh as they realize what they just did.

Rest assured, you will always be able to find "BILL" at the store. I, like Howard, smile when people ask me if I'm "BILL". And just like Howard, I'm glad to reply YES!