Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our New Baby: The Vandercook 4

On November 4th, Rich Kegler, Chris Fritton, and good friend Brian embarked on a duo-fold road trip from WNYBAC. The purpose of the journey was not only to attend the Hamilton Wood Type Museum Wayzgoose in Two Rivers, WI, but also pick up a Vandercook 4 proofing press from The Platen Press Museum in Zion, IL (run by Paul Aken). The plan was simple: the first day, drive from Buffalo to Chicago, pick up good friend Jim; the second day visit Starshaped Press and The Platen Press Museum then drive on to Two Rivers for the Wayzgoose at night; the third day was all Wayzgoose; the fourth day was a print swap and sale, the end of Wayzgoose, then the long, long, long trip hope. Did I mention it was long? On the last day, these brave men had to drive back from Two Rivers to Zion, IL, load the press, drop Jim off in Chicago, then continue all the way through to Buffalo.

The road was hard, the road was tough, but everyone involved survived. The Dead Kennedys helped when the weather and traffic threatened to eat them in Chicago, Culver's helped when their stomachs threatened to eat themselves, and three iPhones working simultaneously helped when the highway system threatened to get them irreparably lost. Scratch that last part, even with 3 iPhones and a sadsack GPS system, they still managed to get lost any number of times. Did I mention they learned the history of the Jesus and Mary Chain and some Yiddish along the way? Or that what really saved them was the theme song for the trip, aptly chosen by Chris Fritton, more aptly sung by Paul Rodgers?

I may have also forgotten to mention that after an interminable trip across the interminable state of Ohio in the wee hours of the morning (which we came to call O-wide-O), that these brave souls still had to unload the press from the u-haul trailer and bring it inside WNYBAC. And that within a few short days, this 1100 lb. baby would have to be brought down the stairs an inch at a time with a come-along. The pictures tell a story, but it is not the whole epic story.

If you want to come see the new baby, stop by anytime. We also acquired a Showcard Press from the Carnegie Center with a 22" x 29" bed that was moved down the stairs at the same time. That is now our largest press. Big thanks to everyone who made this adventure possible: Brian Maloney, Brian F., Joe Bergquist, Jay, Fran Fritton, Paul Aken, Rich Kegler, Jim, and Scott from Printing Prep that lent us the pallet jack to move the monsters on flatland.

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