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Nov 28 / Scott

A Printer Girl’s Grandfather

Ron, my  Father-in-Law, passed away suddenly this past weekend. You may be wondering what this has to do with cutting wood type or letterpress printing other than a personal loss.

I want to share the connection.

Ron was more than a Father-in-Law, he was a good friend. We shared breakfast every Saturday somewhere in Columbus. He also shared my love of going to garage sales, yard sales, and tag sales. We would stop at several every week. He would also check the ads in the local paper and hit lots of garage sales when I was still at work. He would often find a single piece of wood type for his granddaughter the letterpress printer. Once he even found an entire showcard type case full of 10 line Futura for only $5. What a deal! Erin had a special “Grandpa” Christmas that year.

Ron also loved to help his grandchildren any way he could. For her birthday and Christmas, he would have me purchase something from my friends Don Black in Toronto or Dave Churchman in Indianapolis, and say, “Just buy her something she would like to have for her printing.” He did not know much about letterpress but he knew she would use it. She often would proudly show him a new print made with “his” type.

When Erin needed a place to store two big double type cabinets, a book job press and an 1,800 pound C&P 10 x 15, he offered almost half of his garage to store them for his granddaughter. No hesitation, no time frame, just as long as she needed until she was ready to move them. At age 82 he even helped us unload the press from the trailer.

Ron loved to see the work Erin was making  on her Vandercook 4.  We were even planning to try out the C&P in his garage soon so he see how it worked. He always wanted to see what type I was cutting and offered me his trailer to move the next “Old machine” I had found to help with making wood type.

Ron loved his family and always took pride in everything they did.  He will be missed.


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