Growing up in the printing business, my sisters and I had to work at the print shop when there was work to be done. In my previous blog, I spoke of the "fun times" we had when we just played at the print shop all day long while my parents worked.
When I was 5 years old, I would mostly sweep the floors and dust the office supplies that my mom sold out front to walk-in customers. My parents printed a ton of books and my sisters and I were the ones that put those books together after my dad did the press work. My sisters and I would mostly do bindery work which entailed folding, hand collating and saddle stitching. Kathy, my older sister, was the Princess of the Saddle Stitching Machine. I was the Collating Princess and Tammy, my younger sister, was the Gathering Princess. We each dreamed that one day there would be a Printing Olympics and that we would compete and win the gold. We envisioned there were other "printing brats" like ourselves across the United States and that we could compete with these other "printer's kids" in a Printing Olympics because we KNEW we were the fastest. Kathy was the fastest at stapling books, which is what the Saddle Stitching Machine is used for. She would hand feed in the books and put 2 staples on the spine and then hand feed another book as she moved the finished book out of the way. There was a foot pedal that she would push each time she wanted to "staple" an area. She was so fast at operating this machine, that the machine could not keep up and neither did Tammy or I because we were on the other end gathering the finished books after she did the stapling. I knew no one was as fast as she was and that she would win the gold at Saddle Stitching. One of the books that my parents printed was the Rodeo Book. There was a huge Rodeo in Chatsworth one year and we printed their book. This was an enormous book that we didn't think we could ever complete. We worked days and days on folding, hand collating and stitching those books. We thought we would never finish those books and we feared that we would be printing them all the time and we would never ever get to play again. I'm sure now, that we exagerated a bit and thought the book was larger than it really was.
Today, we have an automated collating machine at McStatts' that does most of the collating. Growing up, I thought I was fast at hand collating but Kathy proved she was indeed the fastest. She and I would race to see who could collate the fastest and somehow she always won. That always bothered me and today, we should have a challenge to see who can collate the fastest now that I am older and not 5 years old and she being 10 years old. ;)