March 31, 2010

American Success Story

My father’s business has done very well. When he was young he tried to make a go at it as a commercial artist, but didn’t do too well. With my birth, and much debt, he turned to silkscreen printing. His first shop in New Jersey grew quickly. He began to produce decals, and gained good clients: a tool company, an athletic goods manufacturer. It was not till my father allowed his creative side, and keen marketing sense guide him, that he achieved his first great product. In 1968 he watched carefully what was going on and went to work designing, producing, and distributing the Flower Power sticker. As a young boy I would encounter these flower stickers everywhere. Back then, they meant only a pride in my father. That was many years ago.

It can be said that F. Scott Fitzgerald is often wrong, my father did have a great second act. Things had shifted from stickers to magnets, particularly when it came to automobiles. Stickers were messy and hard to remove and magnets could be temporary. In 2003 my father designed the Yellow Ribbon magnet with the words “support our troops” emblazoned on it. Its success was overwhelming. My father never minded the criticism his two big products invited. He felt he had given people something to express themselves with. Now at the age of eighty-five, my father is experiencing declining health. His company will be sold soon. It has been a great disappointment to my father that I did not take his offer, but I’m not interested in the business.

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