Chapter 1: Molding a Pete
I want to tell you a story. A story that I’m relatively certain has never been told before. It’s not because Pete’s life is particularly unique or interesting but because the outcome of this story does not resemble the outcome Pete envisioned for himself or you envision for him. But rest assured, the story is always changing and perhaps one day this story will be irrelevant to Pete, but helpful to others. This story will not be told from how Pete would like to remember things but how he actually does remember.
So let’s first start by addressing the elephant in the room. Yes, millennial man in my URL is misspelled. Chalk it up to my excessive drinking of tequila by myself on Labor Day weekend but you somehow ended up here so lets just assume we are as dumb as each other.
Now Pete… he is relatable. Born in the early 90s, he is a quintessential millennial born to a very normal middle class family. He was the middle child with an older sister and younger sister. Pete’s mom was a teacher at Pete’s school and his dad ran a screen printing shop owned by Pete’s grandfather (mom’s side). Yeah, you know that profession that might not even be there when you read this. Well, that is Pete’s most prominent memory of his childhood which might not sound incredibly interesting but its different than a Fedex/Kinkos. Printing signed was truly a labor of love (or necessity?).
After school, which was right down the street from Pete’s school, Pete would go to his dad’s shop if his mom needed to stay at school for bit. This is when “the shop” as it was know became the mysterious place in the world for a 7 year old boy. The building was painted Pepto pink. Truly only something that would be accepted in the 60s or 70s. It was a former mechanic garage so it retained the roll up doors and foundations for automotive work. Otherwise, the place was wall to wall with equipment for sign printing.
When Pete would walk through the front door, he would see several pieces of what seemed liked ancient machinery in front of him and tools to his right. To his left, he found the employee break room. The break room was not much different than what you expect to see today… A refrigerator, water cooler, and coffee maker. When Pete would open the door, the scent of chicory coffee would explode through the door. As a side note, Pete developed a keen nose for the chicory coffee, but has never found a liking for it. After recovering from the olfactory assault, Pete would walk into the break room to find his father and aunt enthusiastically completing the crossword puzzle in today’s newspaper. This, being of no interest to Pete, made him hug his father and immediately run for the workshop.
The workshop full of equipment old and new…. but mostly old. Pete had two favorite pieces of equipment. The first was this largest round table he had ever seen. Pete wasn’t really much of a reader so it wasn’t some King Arthur thing but it was fascinating to thing of 20 or 30 people (yes, this table was huge) sitting around it at once negotiating the next big sign deal… of course this wasn’t how it actually went. It was used as a work table as Pete would later find out, which is much less glamorous than what he had expected.