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Shop Talk: 'Bad Santa' Makes His List and Checks It Twice

(December/January 2017) posted on Thu Dec 21, 2017

2017 has seen its fair share of naughty and nice.

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By Andy MacDougall

I’d been waiting about half an hour just outside international arrivals in the Mexico City airport. The usual hustle and bustle was going on, emotional reunions erupting all around me, half a dozen drivers with signs picking people up – none with my name on them. I admit I was starting to wonder if maybe they forgo…

“Are you Andy?” A smiling young man introduced himself as Fernando and apologized for being late – traffic was brutal.

“They told us to watch for a gringo who looks like Santa Claus!” he said.

They thought it was pretty funny. I didn’t tell them it was true. For the last few years I’ve been playing Santa at the Wachiay Friendship Centre’s annual Christmas party in mid-December.

I guess if I’m Santa, I get to review the list. You know the one I mean: people who were good as well as the ones who were acting bad. Who’s been naughty, who’s been nice.

We should get the bad and the good out of the way first. Anybody who knows me or has read this column through the years knows I am a screen printer. They also know I decried the name change of SGIA back in 2003 as well as its makeover from a screen printing organization to one with a more digital focus. I still don’t like it, but I’ve learned to live with it; let’s call that one a lingering bad.

Now, with the next big shift announced at the recent show in New Orleans – with the Expo to become “Print United” in 2019 – I was left wondering if SGIA was getting further away from the old core, giving up the ghost on screen printing completely and picking up offset around the corner and running off to Vegas (or, more correctly, Dallas). Or if they were clutching at life preservers to maintain the viability of the annual tradeshow and convention format, their main focus. Turns out, it’s neither.


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