June '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U N E G R A P H I C S P R O 1 1 the common poisons of the trade was a bit less. And perhaps, like my old friend Molina, I might be the sign man-short- lifespan exception. Also, I haven't taken the hazardous path of really slowing down yet since slowing down sure seemed to be the beginning of the end for many of that generation of sign makers. For me, I think I'll ease into retirement over a dozen years or so. If done that way, maybe I can live long enough to reclaim a lot more of my paid-in social security taxes than most of those fellows did. Of course, I did eat quite a few of Mr. Cooper's tamales, and absorbed my share of leaded paint, screen ink, mineral spir- its, lacquer thinner, and the multiple oth- er toxins of the trade. No doubt they are part of my DNA by now, which can't be all that good. So, to be fair to my wife, Sharon, I'd better keep my life insurance paid up for a while longer. And, for my own mental health and disposition, I'm going to try not to think about how fast time is fly- ing by when I pass that old house, and can almost smell those tamales cooking, when traveling that familiar path to the place I call home. Have a great month. RICK WILLIAMS owns Rick's Sign Company, a com- mercial sign shop in Longview, Texas. He has been in the sign industry since 1973 and has been a contributing editor to Sign Business and Sign & Digital Graphics since 1986. Contact Rick via email at

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