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Its been another lead and cast-iron filled coupla weeks in Chicago, and boy am i bushed. My computer was out of commission for a week because I spilled coffee on the keyboard. but I bought and installed a new keyboard, so its up and running! I lost a list of people who had purchased spacing from me, but I think I’m getting them all back so far.

Mr. Meers and I did a lot of cleaning. We had many appointments for purchasing some of the equipment, and made a few significant sales! We’ve got an offer on a large lot of his hot metal casting stuff, but I’m wondering if we’ll find any takers for the Linotype things. Seems people are giving it away for the hauling out of the basement. We can’t compete with that kind of pricing!

I’ve had some success with Briarpress.org, and with craigslist ads, which is good. Craigslist keeps things local and Briarpress helps me reach the right people. If I can keep up this pace, maybe we’ll actually make a decent dent in the piles and a few dollars for Mr. Meers!

I found some cool WW2 memorabilia that Mr. Meers had from being Prisoner of War. I set a big box of stuff aside for his family to go through and told them any letters or things from when Mr. Meers was in the Air Corp that they don’t want, I will take and give a good home. I’d hate to see it thrown away, but it seems like Mr. Meers daughter doesn’t want much pf anything by the way of heirlooms.

I even got a few more areas cleaned up in the print shop. The C&P, Mr. Meers favorite, is uncovered! Its dusty and needs a good cleaning, but its intact. The Heidelberg is uncovered to, and his daughter exclaimed, “I haven’t laid eyes on the Heidelberg in years!”. Which amazes me. There was so much paper and junk and boxes of random stuff piled on top of it you couldn’t see it and its probably about 2/3 the size of a VW Beetle original style!

I cleaned off another type cabinet full of shiny new never used type! Its a gorgeous steel front Hamilton cabinet, with a slant top for composing and a rack for leads and slugs. (I will put up some pictures in a bit, I gotta find the hose for the camera…)

So right now, I’m back in STL for a few days to love on my patient and understanding boyfriend, get a kitty fix and clean my house, and then Wednesday i’m off to Chicago again for a whole month to continue this project.

Damn, its been over a month since I posted last. Oops. Well, things have been sorta busy and complicated over here at Lock and Key Press and in my personal life. Amazing how much can happen in a few short weeks!

I don’t have anything new printed because I’ve been working a little on-the-side job which doesn’t pay much but is a lot of work. I also have an on-going project with a friend in Chicago that has recently demanded most of my attention. I’ll most likely be moving back for the summer to complete this endeavor. Let me tell you a bit about it:

Mr. Meers is a life long resident of Logan square in Chicago. I lived around the corner from him for a few years and we struck up a wonderful friendship because he is also a printer! He’s the Oldest of the Old-School. He’s 89 and has been printing since the 1930s. He saw the advent of, well, everything we take for granted these days: cars, phones, electric light, photo type setting and the computer. He’s an amazing old guy who has had a fabulous life!

Anyway, he’s been acquiring equipment for 60 some odd years and just stashing most of it in his buildings he owns. He was printing regularly up until about 7 or 8 years ago when his body just started to quit. He can’t stand for long periods of time and now, his wife has had some health problems as needs to be in a rest home until Mr. Meers daughter can move him down to North Carolina so that Mr. and Mrs. Meers have family nearby to care for them.

In the mean-time, I’m selling, cataloging and trying to document as best I can this extensive collection and parts of Mr. Meers’s life. Its a HUGE undertaking and will take me away from printing for the summer, but is too important a project to pass up.

If you want to see some pictures of the letterpress collection, visit my flickr page! If you are interested in making a trip to Chicago for letterpress printing supplies, leave me a comment or email me directly.

What Day is it Anyway?

May 2009
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