I've been going to the same dive shop in San Francisco for probably about five years now, and the owner is an old-timer who knows a lot of the "greats" who made the industry what it is today. Rushing in to get out of the freak hailstorm, I went in today to drop off a regulator and dive bag for servicing. During all of my time in the shop, the staff have always been polite and professional, but today, something changed: they discovered that I was the same "Eric Cheng" with a portfolio in Fathoms Magazine, and suddenly, big smiles and friendly banter were unleashed. They asked questions about my experiences, about photography, about the camera I use, and more. With each response, they reciprocated with one of their own experiences, and even broke out some prints to show me.
It's nice to get a bit of recognition, but I'll always remember the difference between this visit and my last.