This week marked the end of an era for Hudson Printing. After 44 years of service, a kind, wonderful, loyal Printer and friend retired yesterday. Randy Elliott will be deeply missed. It was a disruptive change for Randy and for the company.
In 1979, Hudson printing installed our first heatset web press – a Harris M-110. Randy was there for the installation. He was the first pressman ever to turn it on… ever to run it. And when Randy shut down his beloved press this week, it was a good bye for both man and machine… it appears likely that press, with it’s burnished wood handles, and delicate needle gauges, will never run again… that Randy will never run a press again.
And that makes me just a little sad.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Randy for three short years. We didn’t talk very often… since his press is tucked back away behind three full webs, I’d sometimes go days without even seeing him.
But when we did talk I always came more energized, more optimistic, and more stoked to be a Printer!
As I’ve toured visitors through the shop, I would make it a point to take the time to walk back to Randy’s press, to show them the cleanest – and oldest – machine in the building. And to point out the care and love that the man had for his machine – and for his crew and his colleagues.
Over the years, Randy trained and coached dozens of people, and touched the lives of hundreds more. Randy was Hudson Printing Employee No. 50; his newest jogger is Employee No. 1300.
Hudson Printing is 106 years old. History and tradition are deep and rich here. We’ve done many of the same things, with the same equipment, and many of the same people for decades. And we’ve had the honor and privilege of serving many of the same customers across those long years.
But when Paul Hudson bought the company from his older brother a few years ago, he promptly set out to Reinvent Print, and Reinvent Hudson Printing. And the company has invested millions of dollars in support of this disruptive change.
Randy worked in an Analog world. A world where one strong skill, learned as a young man, enabled one to provide for a family over a lifetime. Where loyalty and friendship, service and sacrifice were paramount. These are priceless values that we wish to continue to uphold and honor and reward.
Amidst the rush to create and embrace the future – we call it Reinvent Print – it’s easy to loose sight of how we got to where we are. How it is that we have the privilege today of Reinventing. And the loyal people that helped us get to Here.
Reflecting on Randy’s departure brought home with crystal clarity the need to pause sometimes, to appreciate the Now. And the Past. And those who built across lifetimes, the foundations on which we now build.
Cheers to Loyalty and Stability… and to Disruptive Change, and to those who make it possible!
Thank You Randy for your service and your loyalty!
You will be missed and you will be remembered!
Cheers to Randy Elliott!