I love when things happen that remind you of how small the world really is. a few weeks ago I was hanging out in centennial park, in the hopes of joining some pick-up ultimate frisbee game. After sitting long enough to build up courage, I walked over to a game going on. After a few games, I left and walked back over to where my roommates were hanging out in the park, and a guy that I had been playing with came over and introduced himself. I told him all my plans of why I was in Nashville and studying abroad, and him, my roommate, Britta, and I talked a long time about traveling and such. Very San Francisco, according to B. When he was telling me about all the places I needed to visit while I’m in Nashville, he mentioned Hatch Show Print and I went a little crazy to say the least.

Hatch Show Print was pretty much the only place I had on my list of things I would cry about if I didn’t see it. We had talked a bit about Hatch Show in my letterpress class at KU, and even seen some large scale examples that we have in our rare books and prints library. I had even looked at doing my internship there, but the dates wouldn’t work—assuming I got accepted.

Anyway, he said that his uncle was actually the manager of Hatch Show for the past 25 years, and offered to give him a call and see if he would want to give me a little tour of the shop. I couldn’t even believe it. I was speechless in the sense that I couldn’t really think of anything else to say but, “thank you thank you thank you.” and how awesome it would be if this actually followed through.

Which it did.

I got the amazing privilege of a behind the scenes look at one of the nation’s oldest letterpress print shops..unbelievable. It’s been around for over 100 years, and still uses the same fonts and woodblocks, and bold, simple design as when it started. They’ve made posters for some of the biggest names in jazz and country history like BB King, Johnny Cash, Dylan, etc etc etc. They’re an American Institution, a Nashville landmark, and helped define the look of country music. Jim Sherraden was the uncle/manager that I got the honor to meet. He had grown up in Kansas, and even knew my letterpress teacher, and was familiar with the KU workshop! I couldn’t believe it. He was so nice, and so proud of his shop- I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite quotes,
“Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something to love it yourself.”-Donald Miller
I tried to absorb everything he said and ask as many questions as I could think of. We talked about importance of paper knowledge—one of my favorite nerdy topics!!! We talked about working with clients, met the interns on their first day (that could have been me!), the history of Hatch Show, and lots of technical talk. He then allowed me to wander and talk to the interns and take pictures at my will. I could have stayed there all day..