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Has anyone heard from Fritz recently? I’ve emailed a couple of times over the last fortnight with order enquiries, and haven’t been able to get hold of him.

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I spoke with him on the phone last week and all was well at that time, placed an order yesterday and hope all arrives soon.
Give him a call and see if you can get in touch that way.

Thanks, Jim. It’s a bugger ringing him from the UK, hence the email. Oh well.

I had this problem with a different letterpress supplier a while back…..they didn’t reply to my emails for a few months. Turned out that the supplier never got my emails. I think that some of the email servers, for whatever reason, decide some addresses are invalid or scammers or (?) and just stop forwarding mail from them. Then they start up forwarding the email again for no apparent reason.

So, before we jump to the conclusion that the supplier is at fault, it might be worth considering this scenario as a possibility.

I think it’s unlikely - we’ve had email correspondence before, so the server’s probably whitelisted my address. I suspect he’s just very busy, which is probably good news.

I’m here, but realize that some days I get over 100 legitimate emails and it can be overwhelming in trying to both run a business and answer each and every one of the messages I get. And sometimes I put messages aside to answer later, like on weekends, when I have some free time. Also, like this morning, when I had the office phone on call forwarding to my cell phone, people were calling at like 6 and 7 a.m. well before we open—there are time zones around the world and some people don’t pay attention to that minor fact of life, especially folks in New York City and environs. I am not overly eager to get out here in the morning before daybreak to answer the phone, especially like this week when temperatures have been as low as minus 18 F. But one of us is almost always here by 8 a.m. Mountain Time. Beats me what that is in relation to GMT, but the astute can figure that out. Though a five second Google search says it is 5:28 P.M. GMT, thus there is a time difference of 7 hours from Great Britain to the cold and remote mountains of Colorado.

Fritz, I didn’t mean any offence, and I do hope you didn’t take any. But, as I’m sure you realise, we also run a business and I’m keen to make sure we can get supplies when we need them. Is emailing you not a good to get in touch? Would you rather we took this off the forum?


Cue soft focus, tracking shots, gentle indy-vibe music…

Proprietors of letterpress printed products are stalwart adherents to the time forged traditions of letterpress. With calloused, ink stained hands, they toil away under bare bulb at creaky presses to carefully and painstakingly craft only the finest of printed goods. Even the simplest business cards are carefully bound with hand made craft paper and jute cord, then lovingly hand-delivered to patient-yet-eager customers, who value craftsmanship over instant gratification.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Unfortunately the outward marketing facade doesn’t seem to be reflected inward as the ugly reality and pressures of running a business bear down on the bottom line.

To me, if you’re going to talk the walk, you gotta talk to talk. Do unto others and all that.

Given the choice between waiting on a reply from a busy Fritz, or having to round up obscure supplies on my own, I’ll take Fritz. Give him a break, he’s operating at the pace of letterpress!

Ah, the soft music … :) A beautiful image, keelan.

I hope nothing I’ve said comes across aggressively; Fritz, you do great work in supplying hard-to-find things to a lot of people. In fact, one of the things I emailed you about was the possibility of helping you supply people with another hard-to-find supply, namely 1pt leads.

I hope you can see that it’s a little frustrating not to hear anything about an enquiry for two weeks, and then to receive a reply immediately on a forum, saying that you don’t have time to reply to an email. You did also have time, in that two weeks, to post two other notes on the forum; informative and interesting posts, as always, but I’m sure you can understand how that can seem frustrating.

Fritz, I want to give you some business. If the way I’m trying to contact you isn’t helpful to you, then please say so and I’ll try some other way. Either way, keep up the good work.

I hate to see any criticism of Fritz. What would we do without him?
He is one of those rarities of practical and creative.
Dealing with the public? In a problem solving business?
Vexing, to be sure.
Over the years as my law practice grew, we are frequently documenting 80 to 100 telephone calls a day. All the way from murder to drivers license. And the highly expectant public believes that every response requires a genius-correct answer.
While often I’m day dreaming of a type case, the sensible pace of a short, well-used stainless steel composing stick, and the shudder of the press. (In my day dream, no telephone was ringing at all.)
Then the phone intrudes and it’s the highly problematic District Attorney, or Judge, or impatiently hysterical client.
I always would give Fritz, in particular, the benefit of the doubt. But I never doubt him. His integrity is well-established with me.
I would believe that he needs a periodic break so that he can be refreshed to keep this quirky letterpress world going, as he does, in our beyond crazy electronic age.
Imagine the cumulative effect of 100 emails in one working day, probably at least 20% having certain complexities.
Patience, appreciation are the watchwords.
I am stirred by his accomplishment and hope for Fritz a long and at last prosperous career.
Americus, Georgia

Keep in mind that Fritz didn’t buy the tattered remnants of an old proof press company to get rich. He bought them to save them from certain demise. I personally don’t know of a single Vandercook press that hasn’t benefitted from parts sourced from NA Graphics.

I’d encourage you to call in orders when in a pinch, regardless of long distance rates. Honestly, what is more fun than talking to Fritz on the phone?


Answer: Nothing. Frank and honest advice, if sometimes stern and plainspoken- coupled with good stories and helpful feedback.