Hidden Treasures

My friend Gretchen and I love to wander around estate sales looking for hidden treasures. Neither one of us qualifies as shy when it comes to pawing through stuff some folks wouldn’t think to touch. We’ve scouted through many garages and even a backyard shed on one occasion. We’re not prissy girls.

We like real wood furniture, things made of glass and the unique odds and ends. I tend to favor old books and she favors fabric. On one excursion I happened upon an old end table. It was a nice hardwood with a thick cut glass top for $35.00, what a bargain. Before I buy, I like to look at potential purchases from all angles, so I’m always crouching down looking around and under. That’s when I noticed the hidden drawer. Cool.

I bought the table with the promise I wouldn’t look in the secret drawer until I got home, and I wondered whether or not I would have a moral dilemma on my hands. I entertained myself with thoughts of old money and precious jewelry. What anticipation. What I found inside the drawer was a receipt from 1954, an old brochure about adopting cats, a deck of Spanish/English playing cards printed for Braniff Airlines and a 1949 map of Dallas. Not a treasure trove, but some very cool printed pieces for this printing gal.

The old map of Dallas is a lovely example of history. It has I75 marked in a dotted red line as the future site of the proposed super highway. Interstate 35 and 635 don’t exist and the Royal Lane / Walnut Hill streets north of Bachman Lake are barren of neighborhoods. Printed in 1949 means that map is old…62 years old! It is a gift to have this piece of history and I’m glad that it was me, a printer, who found the map and will treasure its historical value and keep it safe.

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Do You Produce Results?

We’re all on the treadmill again. Well, maybe not the exercise machine kind, but if you’re a marketer you are most certainly updating your fiscal calendar with programs for the next year. Going to a trade show? Announcing a new product? Creating brand awareness? Need to increase sales? Trying to raise money?

What I sell in a fiscal year is easily measurable. What is difficult to measure is the intangible progress I make with potential clients. Our sales cycle can be long and that work toward developing a client isn’t easy to measure. Same with marketing in general. Are you focusing on the right people? Are you using the right tools? Do you measure what you do? Bottom line ~ do you get the results you desire?

From an “old world communication” yes, in a meeting the other day, print was referred to that way and I nearly fell out of my chair. Talk about feeling old. However, there remains solid proof that print continues to develop when mixed with the application of variable data that drives potential clients to the web…where, with the right incentive, the goal of the marketer can be measured.

Printing Prank ~

For Sally:
I haven’t thought about Sammie in years. She’s been gone a long time; I think nearly twenty years. But, Sammie Sneed was the best prankster at Proctor Press back in the day. There was one prank in particular that stood out above the rest…and, she played it on the man himself, Mr. Frank Proctor.

Seems Frank liked to come into the plant every Saturday to get caught up on paperwork. One weekend as he walked up the hallway he noticed the lights were on in the men’s room. He walked right in and was startled at the give-away boots and legs of somebody in one of the stalls. He called out but nobody answered, so he backed out of the room and called the police. As he waited in the parking lot, it didn’t take long for the police to arrive. He explained the situation as they tip-toed back into the plant. The police asked Frank to call out and hold the door aside as they crouched through the door with guns drawn. Still no response; so the police kicked in the stall door. There sat a stuffed dummy holding a sign that read: April Fools. oops. The police actually thought the stunt was for them. It took a bit of explaining on Franks part to convince them that he was the intended fool. He didn’t talk to Sammie for quite a while but of course he ultimately forgave her. I miss Sammie, thanks for reminding me of a great memory.

10 Minutes Makes a Difference…

Earlier last year John ran out the door on his way to work…imagine that…John running. John is well-known around Ussery for being here one moment and gone the next, ah, but I digress.

As he ran out the door that morning he grabbed a boiled egg from the frig and put it in his front pants pocket. He drove to work and put the egg on his desk for later. Later came and he picked up the egg and snapped it on the edge of his desk to break the shell. Imagine his surprise when the shell cracked and an unboiled sloppy egg dripped all over his desk. He had to laugh. It wasn’t a joke, just a misplaced egg.

That got me to thinking…that, all an egg needs to become something different is 10 minutes. What could we do each day for 10 minutes that might make the difference between sloppy or solid?