Making the Sale

In the winter of 1987 my wife, Jane, was pregnant with our daughter Samantha and my father, Tony, was dying of cancer. Neither situation caused the world to stop doing what it does.

We were in the printing business at the time (remember offset printing?) – business cards, letterhead, flyers, invoices, envelopes, brochures, funeral programs, pretty much anything that could be imprinted on paper (not money, though; if we could do that and get away with it, we’d still be in business). Whatever the job, if we didn’t know how to do it, we learned. If we couldn’t do it, we paid someone who could.

Jane and Dad were our two top printing salespeople at the time, and they were out making sales calls, scrambling really for any bit of work to keep our presses rolling. Suffice to say, she was very pregnant (7 months or so) and he was very sick.

On the way to a scheduled appointment with a potential new client, they got into a car crash. Their car wasn’t totaled, but Dad was already feeling pretty shitty. Now he was freaking out with worry – his first grandchild was gestating right next to him, but Jane was fine, a little shaken but fine.

She was finally able to calm him, convincing him that all her parts felt good. They shared about a minute of silence. Then Dad turned to Jane and said, “So then … wanna go make the sale?”

She did, and they did, and the presses rolled that night.


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