@Kyeh I remember him! He was a fellow Franco-American, a sort-of-local boy, born & raised just over the border, about an hour south of me, in Lawrence, MA. Such a small world, my uncle owned a print shop in that city (years later, of course), & i spent a lot of time there in my teens.
@Kyeh Actually, my grandmother spoke Canadian French, but she didn’t speak it to us kids, so i only picked up a few naughty phrases here & there. I took Parisian French for SIX freakin’ years in school, but didn’t retain a lot. I’d describe my abilities as rudimentary, at best. I could get by reading signs (i read a little better than i speak, but that’s not saying much!) & using basic phrases, but i can’t converse fluently, unfortunately. I wish my grandmother had spoken it to us when we were really young & could absorb it better.
As far as the print shop, my older brother was an actual employee for years & operated some of the big machines, but i only helped out with menial stuff, like collating & stitching, when they had big jobs or when i had spare time, before i got a steady after-school job. Being a word geek, though, during lulls & breaks, i used to hang out with the typesetter, who was a cool chick. I actually thought about learning the trade before i found a more local job that i could ride my bike to, since this was all before i was old enough to drive. Man, i was a zygote!
@ircon96 Did the typesetter run one of those big linotype machines? Or did she actually set type by hand? I learned offset printing in school and later joined a group that does letterpress printing, so I’m always interested when I encounter someone else who’s done it.
As for languages, I feel exactly the same way about Japanese - I really wish my mother had used it with us, but she thought at the time that it would keep us from getting good at English in school. Now they know that it’s actually an advantage to be fluent in more than one language. Oh well!
@Kyeh Very true about the importance & usefulness of languages!
They did mostly large commercial jobs using offset lithography, i believe, but my uncle had a soft spot for the old-school methods and equipment, so they had some of the old stuff around, too. And the typesetter had been in the business for a long time, so she had experience with various methods.
I can’t remember if she used a Linotype (or possibly a Monotype?) at that point, i think it was mostly phototypesetting, but they also did smaller letterpress & engraving jobs, where she would set by hand, iirc. There were also occasional art prints, like the one below, from a NH pen & ink artist. I got to keep a copy due to my love of horses. (Sorry for the shadow & the edge of my dog’s butt, she was being nosy! Lol)
My memory of that stuff is hazy, but i remember it was pretty cool to see all that exotic (to me) equipment! I also got to see the huge presses in action & especially remember the big cutter, slicing through reams of heavy stock like buttah! Kinda scary to think what it could do to a body part! Lol
@Wookee I hear ya, about being tired! You know what? I do believe i was thinking of Victor French when i saw yours, cuz i was thinking of a whole different person than French Stewart, but close enough! Lol