PORTSMOUTH, Va.—For some people it’s toys; for others it’s lapel pins. But whatever it is, one thing is for sure: Team U-Haul is made up of some die-hard collectors of U-Haul memorabilia. Jackie Graham, traffic control manager (TCM) for U-Haul Company of Tidewater, is one of those die-hard collectors, and her focus is U-Haul hats.
Graham started working for U-Haul in August 1992 as a customer service representative (CSR). She takes pride in working for the Company.
“Families move in times of distress and hardships, as well as in times of happiness and new beginnings,” Graham noted. Her goal is to help families move safely—a goal that she accomplishes every day.
Graham started collecting U-Haul hats shortly after she became TCM because “it was something cool to put on the wall.”
What started off as a small idea has grown into something much bigger. Currently, all 119 of Graham’s U-Haul hats are on display behind her desk.
Her collection has interested people from all over. A few of her admirers include team members at U-Haul headquarters in Phoenix and various executives in the field. People love to send her hats and help grow her collection.
Notable U-Haul hats
Graham’s favorite hat from her collection is her military veterans hat, which holds a special place in her heart since she is a U.S. Marine and Army veteran. Another close favorite is one that was signed by several U-Haul executives including U-Haul Vice President Jim Shoen, UHI Phoenix Operations President John “J.T.” Taylor, and ADVPs Ray Smith and Doug Weston.
Graham likes to reminisce about receiving hats from various people and the stories behind them. One hat she received from her husband, who got it from a guy who used to work in the U-Haul Tech Center in Tempe, Arizona. Once other U-Haul Team members fine out about Graham’s collection, they want to add to it. In fact, fellow Traffic team member David Ashe gave her the hat that he received when he first started working for U-Haul.
Ashe was happy to add to Graham’s collection, explaining, “Jackie is always happy to get a new hat.”
“It’s like Christmas!” Graham cheered with a smile.
Do you collect U-Haul memorabilia? We’d love to hear about your collections in the comments.