Pioneers and Settlers

Today is my birthday. Don’t ask which one because I won’t tell. Let’s just say it’s the new 40 or something like that. By no stretch of the imagination can I be counted among the elders of the industry—those folks who kicked the whole quick printing thing off many years ago. Sadly, many of them are no longer with us. Most recently we lost Frank Schochet, the founder of the Insty-Prints franchise system which was later folded into the Allegra Network. A couple of years back Karen got to spend time with Frank at a celebration in Shreveport, LA, for Jim and Gene Elliot’s 25th anniversary as Insty-Prints franchisees. She found him “ornery, challenging, and an absolute delight.†That sounds a lot like other industry pioneers I have known, such as Bill LeVine and Bud Hadfield. I guess I’m one of the settlers who came after the pioneers—that second echelon that has been along for the transition from down-and-dirty to digital and colorful. We’re all a little older and a little grayer than we were when we started out, but it has certainly been an interesting 25-year ride—and I doubt it is anywhere near done with. That’s what keeps it interesting