Letterpress List No. 60: Leftovers Again?

We’re nothing if not scrappy here at Typecast Press.

I mean, scraps of this paper and that paper, and that paper and this. It’s all those little bits left over in the cutting of cards, menus or whatever. And we hate to throw it away. (Much of the paper we use is made from cotton, so it’s not like killing trees. But the stuff’s expensive.) So, if it’s thin and long — and cool — enough, it becomes a type of ribbon for prettily wrapping an order for delivery. If it’s pieces of, say, two inches by four inches, we cut two squares, pull out a plate with our logo, use whatever ink color we’ve got on one of the presses and they become little tags for such packages.

Fun, right?

Except that, since it’s rare to find time between jobs to actually create something from the assorted strips, all those bits of paper pile up. And, yeah, sometimes Shop Boy is taking a backwards step or reaching across a machine and knocks a whole pile onto the oily floor. And, yeah, after a while the place looks more like a junkyard than a printshop. The piles sit there, taunting us.

Danny Laorenza, Shop Boy’s brother-in-law, suggested that we simply take like-sized pieces, stack them up, apply padding compound and bingo. Notepads. Mary thought this such a wonderful idea that she instantly ordered a big tub of the goo that forms the little pinkish backing holding the pad together.

This is awesome, Shop Boy thought. Line ’em up, hit ’em with our logo and website address and give ’em away. From our piles to yours. Then Shop Boy thought again.

And could just hear it …

Mary: “But it’s so plain. We can make them so much prettier. Let’s look through or old copper and magnesium plates … ooh, look at this one! We could make this a second color. Oh, and this bookplate would make such a cool border. Maybe if we used the hole punch and threaded ribbon for a cover. Oh, come on. It won’t take that much time.”


So last night, while Mary set up a run of business cards — checking and checking and checking … and then re-checking the straightness (it was straight … she’s pretty good at this stuff) — Shop Boy volunteered to organize the strips and squares into boxes just to, you know, get them out of the way for right now.

And while her back was turned, I put stack after stack — very neatly and carefully — into big boxes marked clearly, if in tiny letters. These Shop Boy gingerly placed at the back of a high shelf in a different room … to await the other odd lots of paper that we’ve had to keep just in case. (Was the lettering turned toward the front or the back? I really can’t recall.)

Out of sight …

Out of her mind.


Letterpress List No. 60

Hey, a few of you might have bumped into a little missive in this space last week and now wonder where it has gone. Censorship? Nah. Just felt like it might not fit the tone here. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea that repeat visitors to “Impressions of …” might be surprised to find something odd or different. But there’s nothing more boring than Shop Boy’s personal take on politics. As brilliantly written as it may be … ;-)

Instead, Veterans Day or not, how about an hour’s worth of music to support our troops … and remember all those who’ve given everything for this nation … by. Whether you hate this war or believe it to be just (most of the best war-related tunes are, of course, anti), any man or woman who volunteers to lay down his or her life for you is not your enemy. (Oops, there I go again.) Most of these tunes should be clearly labeled and stored in the usual places. Goofy or great videos are courtesy of YouTube.

RoosterAlice in Chains (A son’s tribute to a brave, very human Vietnam vet.)
Give It AwayRed Hot Chili Peppers (Free pads. Get them while they’re good and plain.)
If I Had a Rocket LauncherBruce Cockburn (Bad things would happen.)
Big MachineGoo Goo Dolls (On top of which many of the paper scraps are stacked on any given day.)
Bom Bom BomLiving Things (Mary says this song reminds her of the type of tune they play while hockey players warm up, bent at the waist, both hands on the stick, rotating their torsos in an exaggerated windmill motion. She’s right.)
Pretty Pink RibbonCake (Just the right touch.)
Wrap It UpSam & Dave (Mary’s got the knack.)
The Hard Waythe Knack (By the way, Shop Boy wonders whether this band would have been around longer had its smash hit, “My Sharona,” not made it sound a bit like a Devo knockoff. In more recent years, the Knack would have been celebrated for its scrappy “garage” sound, I’m thinking. Like the Hives or the Strokes.)
Complicated — Avril Lavigne (What-EVER.)
Sleep Now in the FireRage Against the Machine (For-EVER.)
Hot for TeacherVan Halen ( “Gimme something to write on, man.”)
Save It for Laterthe English Beat (We’ll get to it.)
The Battle of New OrleansLonnie Donegan (Old Glory.)
Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town Kenny Rogers and the First Edition (Saddest vet song ever?)
Oops! … I Did It AgainBritney Spears (Now that’s different. Probably not a surprise, though. Shop Boy’s got a soft spot. I know … that’s reeeeaaaallllly sad.)

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