Friday, January 3, 2014

Returning to Her Roots

Yesterday we drove to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to catch a United flight to Denver, connecting with a United Express flight back home to Bozeman. The planes were filled mostly with holiday travelers, including families, individual college students, servicemen and women returning to their posts for duty and skiers destined for points west in Colorado and up to Big Sky near Bozeman. While the flights were overbooked, all the standbys were able to board and several seats were empty ultimately due to missed connections resulting from delays and cancellations caused by the winter storm headed through the Midwest and on to the Northeast. Having started near the Gulf Coast I didn't spy anyone wearing shorts until we boarded the connecting flight to Bozeman. Go figure. 

We visited my in laws in Huntsville, Texas where one of our activities was to visit "the shop" as they refer to the family business, dba Wagamon Printing, a short run printing operation. The best customers are a local hospital and a bank. 

My brother-in-law Jack and his sister operate the enterprise. With the demand for specialty forms, printed checks, flyers, business cards, letterhead and printed envelopes being nowhere near what it once was, causing their offset printing business volumes to fall like a rock, Jack went out a couple of years ago looking to diversify and procured equipment to run a screen printing line. Wagamon printing now screen prints yard signs and appreciates (no they adore) hotly contested political contests. Teresa and her dad, Doc, are venerated founders of the 30-year old business. But now when they cross town to spend a few hours at the shop they serve an even more valued function -- free labor.

The shop is located a couple of blocks up from the campus of Sam Houston State University and a block away from bordering upscale apartments. The shop has a large paved, and currently unused parking area. Jack's next plan is to use recycled shipping containers to build stacked apartments for the student market on that north section of the lot. Stacked containers are lean and green and have the cool factor working for them -- and more floor space than efficiency apartments and the dorms. We will be keeping tabs and offering unsolicited advice.

When Jack isn't printing he is cold calling whoever has filed to run in the next primary campaign.

Following is our shop visit in pictures and samples of signs.

Screen printing line -- a barrel of ink (black container) automated screen table (angled yellow screen), take away belt (flat belt middle right) and dry lamp (green control unit far right).

Jack holds down take away table while supervising Teresa and Doc.
Put Texas First! "Dwayne Stovall is a candidate for the Republican nomination for U. S. Senator w/ Jeffersonian principles; federalism, republicanism, and limited government."  The Wagamon's wish him well, not necessarily because of his politics but because they have the yard sign account.

There are more than Laddies and Lannies in Texas than you can shake a stick at. Laddie lost his re-election campaign for County Commissioner running as a Democrat last November.  Now he aims to resurrect his political career running as a Republican for County Judge.

Wagamon Printing screen prints signs for the prospective competition (here is doubting Jack dubs the container apartments with a name ending in "e").

Local lawyer running for judge.

Local service advertising.
Realtor signage.

Sign advertising Charity promotion.

During Fugate's primary campaign he said, “I will be accessible to constituents, and have the best coffee.” Fugate didn't make it to the general.

Jack printed these up when he was sparring with the old guard on the Huntsville City Council.

Shane Barge is currently serving on the New Waverly Independent School District school board.

The Junior Service League of Huntsville puts on the Pistols & Pearls BBQ Benefit each year to support a local charity.

Doc stacking and counting the "green" run out of the dryer.

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