PRINTING INDUSTRY VETERANS — LASTING IMPRESSIONS
Life as a printer in New York City back in the 1950s was difficult, as it was for any young business struggling to survive in the city. A union tried to infiltrate his family’s small shop, and attempted to strong-arm the Darlows with several months of bitter negotiations. When his father threw up his hands in frustration over the impasse, an angry Sheldon went to the shop floor and fired everyone on the spot.
“I threw everyone out in the street. Our lawyer said we couldn’t do that, so I sent them a telegram, asking them to come back on Monday,” Darlow recalls. “They went on strike that Monday. My father, mother, brother and myself did it all for six months.”
Though the company obviously made a lot of money without the employee overhead, it took a toll on the Darlows.
“We worked like animals,” he says. “Those are the times you find out who your real friends are. Dealing with the union, I learned a lot about people and how they could be manipulated.”
Dennis Gorder, 58
“I enjoy solving problems,” says the man known around the plant as Denny. “The scheduling department is unique; I get involved in a lot of communications, talking to customers. I love that customer interaction.”
Dennis Gorder also likes his employer, as evidenced by his 42 years with Perry Printing, which merged and became Perry Judd’s about 10 years ago. Gorder worked out of the Waterloo, WI, division, then transferred when the Baraboo, WI, plant opened in 1982. Over the years, his duties have ranged from shipping/receiving, customer service, prep supervisor and quality assurance.
Gorder once escorted a young Perry’s salesperson to the airport to pick up one of the company’s newer clients. The buyer wanted to tour the plant and get to know its print provider. During the airport greeting, the customer suggested having a few drinks to get better acquainted. After a round, the client excused himself and left the table for a minute.