Still proud to be a printer


By Donald Behrens

I’ve been in groups where men have been talking about their work. There have been doctors and lawyers and business men of all types. But as for me, I’m glad that I’m a printer.

These men boast of their accomplishments … of their challenges overcome … of their long hours and hard work … of their battles won over obstacles, competition, disease, and the minds of men. But as for me, I’m glad that I am a printer.

For, where would the doctor be if he didn’t have the accumulated printed knowledge that has come down through the years because of printers like me? What would the lawyer do without the records of his law? The minister without his Bible? The businessman without his catalogs and price lists and training materials?

These men make their contributions … receive their due rewards … find justified satisfaction in their jobs. But as for me, I’m glad that I’m a printer.

My work makes people happy. It stimulates their minds. It challenges their ambitions. It feeds their souls. It makes them sing. It contributes to their well-being from the cradle to the grave.

My work makes people sad. And yet, along with the sadness it brings the comfort of the poets, philosophers and great thinkers to lift men out of their sadness and help them find new inspiration and desire in moments of dejection.

My work is a challenge. Because people in America refuse to stand still. They demand the impossible. They have new ideas that they want presented in new and different ways. They demand new perfection in printed messages. They experiment with new papers, products and methods of communication that challenge the ingenuity of the most creative individual. They expect miracles of delivery.

Above all, my work is satisfying. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I know that in my work I am helping people in their lives and work. My satisfaction comes from the sparkling eyes of the young girl announcing her approaching wedding. It comes from the grateful smile of the young businessman who has finally found a way to let the world know about his ‘amazing new ideas.’

My work is painting ideas in the minds of men. My brush is the printing press. And I’m glad that I’m a printer.

Reprinted from Hi-Lites, Printing Industries of Maryland.