Endings

Monday was one of those days that just leave me feeling sad. That was the day I heard two pieces of unrelated news that, taken together, paint a somewhat poignant picture. The first item was that Steve Johnson is resigning as executive director of NAQP. The second was that Townsend Industries is closing. After leading the association for more than 10 years, most of you know Steve’s name, even if you don’t know him personally. He’s a great guy—quick with a laugh and deeply committed to the industry he served. He guided the association through some seriously troubled waters. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with three leaders of NAQP—Tracy Poyser, David Steinhardt, and Steve Johnson—and I liked and respected all of them. In light of NAQP’s merger with NAPL, I sort of wonder if there will be another executive director for NAQP. Steve may well have been the last. The other item, the closing of Townsend Industries, was the one that really got to me, though. Younger printers may not even know what a T-head is, but a lot of printers made a whole bunch of money using that piece of equipment to print two-color work on their old single-color AB Dick and AM Multigraphic presses back in the day. Bob Townsend, the company founder, died this February. It doesn’t look as if the company ever moved beyond the production of the old T-51, so I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that it would be ceasing business. Thursday, June 17 is Steve's last day at NAQP. It is also the last day of operations for Townsend Industries. The future is bright and beautiful, but only because of the past upon which it is built. Those of us who have been around awhile might want to take a moment and contemplate this quiet passing of an era.

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