My father worked as a printer at a local newspaper.1 He had a — it was called reproduction, that the typographical union had. But he would compose the ads and drew it by hand until it was perfect.2 And the union — once the newspaper started using a process called reproduction, they would just have lead to be poured into this mould, so it was already perfect. They didn’t even need to get proof sheets of it to see that. And so, the union was very powerful, and they arranged it so that people like my father would have to set this thing by hand anyway, even though it was already done. And then when it was perfect, it just went into what was called the hellbox, which was — where they would melt the lead to use it again the next time.
And so I thought wow, he’s earning a salary to take care of his wife and the three kids.3 He was being a responsible parent on that level, and so — and yet there was something about that job, that I thought would be kind of depressing in a way, because you would make this beautiful project and then had it be destroyed. And he compared it to making a sand castle on the beach, and then high tide, the waves would go over it, and a castle’s name was suddenly mud. And so I understood it but it became — I became obsessed with what I was going to do with my life. A few things I remembered from college was a definition of happiness by an anthropologist, which was to have as little distance between work and play as possible.4