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REMEMBERING SEPTEMBER 11 -- Picking Up the Pieces

September 2002
BY ERIK CAGLE


It could be said that Doug Stone, co-founder of Odyssey Press, was a frugal man. He booked his own flights and almost always took the cheaper connecting route, no matter how circuitous.

Stone was saving the company money, particularly when he was flying from his company's headquarters in Dover, NH, to Trend Offset Printing in Los Alamitos, CA, the home of his former employer. He was close to Anthony Lienau, one of Trend's founders, and still did consulting work for Lienau. So Stone would fly into Texas, where Trend has a plant, and visit there before continuing to California. Out there, he would also spend time with his son, Zachary.

Stone paid a $100 exchange fee to switch his September 11 flight from American Airlines Flight 486 to Flight 11. That plane would eventually strike the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

"The whole thing seemed sur-real, seeing the planes hit the towers," said Stone's business partner, Tad Parker. "And to think that not only were there people on board, but someone I know."

Upon receiving confirmation from Zachary Stone that Doug had been on one of the ill-fated flights, Parker gathered the 40-some-employee staff and broke the news. "It was devastating for everyone. We're like a family here."

Getting Back To Normal

Business is only now getting back to normal for Odyssey Press, a book printer specializing in journal work, newsletters, custom publications (lab manuals and course packs) and print-on-demand services, among other areas.

Tad needed to learn the ins and outs of Doug's job, particularly manufacturing and financing. For a guy specializing in sales and public relations, it was a tall order.

"We had a huge base of customers in New York City, and nothing happened for six weeks," Parker says. "We're only now getting back to some sort of normalcy."

Stone didn't live to see his professional dream realized, but it has been fulfilled. On July 1, Odyssey Press moved into a larger, true manufacturing facility in Gonic, NH. The company plans to dedicate a flag pole in Stone's memory.

At local Dover High School, a scholarship fund has been started in his name. Criteria includes character, a good work ethic inside and outside school, and a good sense of humor—all Stone trademarks.

Still, Parker did not relish the thought of the one-year anniversary. "A lot of positive acts came out of (September 11) that showed there is a lot of humanity left in the United States and the world," he says. "The price we paid to find that out was very dear."
 

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