New York Printers — Perceptions Cloud Reality

From the left, George Scharr, Tim Welch, Wayne Scheible, Mark Ashworth and Bill Oliveri celebrate at Flower City Printing’s 38th anniversary picnic last June.

o Chittenago hosts an annual Munchkins parade in honor of its most revered son, “Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum.

o The Catskills boast the legend of Rip Van Winkle, brown trout and flycasting.

With more than 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, New York state is a nature lover’s delight, with 176 parks, the Adirondacks, Catskills, Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, etc., making it idyllic for hiking, biking, rafting, camping, fishing, you name it. Those with a taste for the grapes can visit countless vineyards.

OK, let’s not get drafted into the “I Love New York” campaign. But sometimes we need to distinguish the city and state. It’s not all one huge island, punctuated by an iron lady holding a torch and tablet. It boasts a long and proud printing tradition, with some of the country’s finest in the trade doing business in the Empire State.

“Years ago, I was talking to someone from Colorado who asked me where I was from,” recalls Dan Mahany, president and CEO of Canfield & Tack in Rochester. “When I told him, he said, ‘Wow! Is it tall buildings all the way to Manhattan?’ ”

That would be about 325 to 350 miles worth of skyscrapers. No wonder New Yorkers cop an occasional attitude.

“There’s a lot of fertile land between here and there. People grow crops on them,” Mahany laughs. “I just thought it was comical.”

Misconceptions can cause natives of any state to roll their eyes, but for some New York printers, the questions asked of them can be bizarre. Take Steven Vid, the president and CEO of Merlin Printing, the leading printer in Amityville. Name of that town ring a bell?

Yep, Amityville Horror, the story about a family who moved out of their new home 28 days after moving in because they were terrorized by paranormal activity. A bestselling novel and several movies “documented” the events in this house, which we’re led to believe became haunted in the mid-1970s because the previous owner murdered his family there.

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