Okay, the time has come, finally, to share a few of the hundreds of emails we've received since Alligators first hit bookstores back in December 2005. Not a week has gone by that we haven't heard from readers all over the world, and while we had every intention of posting some of their comments, we always seemed to get distracted (and a bit overwhelmed)...until now. Stories about vintage, about relationships, about being a savvy shopper, and much more.... we have heard from smart women (and a few equally smart men) who just had to share a few details about a great thrift-store or flea market find or a first-time vintage adventure. We'll start with three of those notes, and in coming months, we promise to share more. Considering our still-strong Florida roots, we must admit that Dawn hooked us from sentence one. She lives on the "Space Coast" in the middle of the state, and she's so serious about thrifting that she included a photo of an outfit she put together for less than $10 (check out that clutch she found for $2.99!). We love it, and we also love what she wrote about her earliest vintage memories: "I went to Katie Gibbs (as it was known back in our day), the secretarial cum finishing school for young ladies who would become the trusted assistants of the men who staffed the "Mahogany Halls" of commerce and industry and then go on to marry them and live happily ever after." (Do we note just a bit of seasoned wit & wisdom here? We think so!) I was a poor struggling student and had no money for clothes. What to do? I raided my mother's closet and absconded with her...black straight cashmere skirt complete with kick pleat, a great camel-hair skirt from Bobbie Brooks, cashmere sweaters and silk shirts...My wardrobe was professional, elegant and classic...I was hooked!...I remember going to job interviews and my entire outfit came from thrifts...I will say that being broke and learning how to thrift shop well has helped me tremendously in the past 30 years." And, from the other coast, here's a note from Meg in San Diego. Okay, there is a bit of a Florida connection here, too...Meg lived there in her childhood, and particularly connected with the "barefoot" photo in our The Way We Were website album: "We absolutely lived in cutoffs and no shoes. I had a pair of cutoffs that were so ragged and patched they made my Mom crazy—she'd toss them in the trash, I'd drag them back out and hide them in my room...I remember always being outdoors, riding our bikes to the beach, being thin as a rail from always being on the move..." Flash forward a few decades, and here's Meg with her oldest daughter, Chloe, who spends her spare time "plowing through the vintage and resale shops of downtown San Diego." Chloe's wearing a vintage beret and "I'm wearing one of my favorite hats—supposedly from the '40s. I had it cleaned and reblocked and I wear it through the fall and winter." Lastly, we must share just part of a note from Debbie in New Hampshire: "I finished your book about two weeks ago, and I must say that you provided me with the insight to infuse my (usually) classic wardrobe with a little bit of attitude. I just needed to spice it up a bit, and vintage it is....I have bought two vintage coats and a red kid purse that even has a pocket that my cell fits into!...I used to be an assistant buyer at Bloomies on 59th St. I have always been interested in fashion, and I grew up sewing...I just can't figure out why I never thought of vintage before!...When I was in New Jersey last week, I went to a consignment shop and found a vintage knee-length navy spring coat for my 25-year-old daughter for $2.50. It's adorable and she loves it. I hope I have opened her mind to the possibilities!" Debbie, we are sure you have! Thanks to everyone who has written us in the past year and a half, and we promise to share more of your stories in the coming months. Who could resist?