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DeWese--Birthday Wishes, Hopes and Dreams

August 1999
On the last day of June, I attended an out-of-town cocktail reception and dinner with about 20 printing company owners. June 30th was my 57th birthday, and the printers presented me a birthday cake, an XXL baseball warm-up jacket and a baseball cap.

Of course, they asked me if I'd made a wish before I blew out the candles. One printer guessed that I had wished for about six more printing industry consolidators, since I'm in the investment banking business of representing the sellers of printing companies. More consolidators would mean more competition for the companies that I represent. That would have been a selfish wish.

Frankly, my wish was simple. I've had the same wish for every birthday candle I've extinguished since age 50. It was: "I damnsure hope I can blow out all these candles with all these people watching."

What a mundane wish; how trivial can I be? Imagine being worried about my ability to extinguish a few candles? The printers had been kind enough to instruct the baker to adorn the cake with about five candles rather than 57. Fifty-seven candles would have been an impossible chore. Five candles were easy.

Wishes for the Industry . . .

As Well as Mankind

If I was any kind of classy guy, I would have prepared 57 wishes for the betterment of the printing industry, the lives of printing salespeople and maybe a few for the deliverance of mankind.

Now that I've had time to think about it, here are my 57 wishes.

1. I wish this Y2K thing is a hoax and that nothing bad happens at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999.

2. I wish that when that Year 2000 bell tolls, nations embrace nations, lovers embrace lovers and the unloved find love.

3. I wish that everyone who derives an income from the sale and production of printing adopts the concept of treating others as well as they expect to be treated.

4. I wish that everyone who practices this concept will enjoy a golden new century.

5. I hope that every printing company learns that cost leadership, not price leadership, is the pathway to prosperity.

6. I dream that printers learn that, although price leadership is not a bad thing, they must serve customers' needs every minute of every day, if they expect to be price leaders.

7. I pray that all children are loved, fed, housed, clothed and educated.

8. I wish the president would take a cold shower.
 

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