August 4, 2009 was another red-letter day in the annals of CANAV Books. Beginning at 0800 at Friesen Printers in Altona, Manitoba, Aviation in Canada: The Formative Years hit the presses. My job was to be on hand to approve press sheets one sheet at a time before they were run. I’ve been used to this routine since the days of Bryant Press and T.H. Best nearly 30 years ago, when the technology in use was the truly dinosauric 72″ Harris press.
Pre-production of ACFY had begun 3-4 weeks earlier with a lot of pre-press detail work at Friesen — validating all the e-files sent by CANAV, arranging for paper stock, scheduling presses and shifts, eventually making plates, etc. With much of this nailed down, Freisen gave me my “be there, or be square” press date.
A quick meeting in the plant at 0800 involved me, Friesen’s Tom Klassen, plus two pressmen handling today’s job.
Before long I started looking over press proofs, first the endpapers, the dust jacket, then the “guts” of the book. Soon it was clear that a lovely clean job was in the works. I quickly approved the entire run, confident that ACFY would be as masterly a printing job as had been ACPD, done by Friesen last November.
Today’s job ran for 10 hours and resulted in pallets piled high with finished sheets. Friesen once again had wowed me with their professionalism. I was a happy boy when I headed back to Winnipeg to catch WestJet home. In the next two days ACFY would pass through the bindery, hit the Trans Canada on the 8th, then comes distribution to all our solid readers. Hang in there … books within three weeks pretty well where ever you are in North America. Place your advance order here.
Besides all the work at Friesen, I made my usual visit to the Altona airstrip to check out the action. Lovely day that it was, all was quiet. However, there was an eye-catching Rockwell Commander S-2R that I hadn’t seen before at Southeast Air Service. C-FPOS “Reno Ripoff” (c/n1777R) looked just fine under Manitoba sun and sky. Sad to say, but time was short and I hadn’t a chance to visit Arty’s “ag” operation at Winkler, not even Peter Funk’s at Morris, en route back to Winnipeg. Oh well, maybe next year.
There can be the odd snag on an outing like this, sometimes one that can really cheese a fellow off. What was it this time? One word — Budget. To be sure of smooth sailing all the way, I had web-booked a rental with Budget. How smart is that, I figured! Well, not so smart, so renters beware of YWG Budget.
Budget assigned me a Hyundai with Manitoba plate EYS641. Have a look at this little beauty! Wouldn’t you just be happy as all get-out driving this little beauty around to impress your business associates! Oh well, just ask for something a bit cleaner, right? Nice try, old boy! Budget’s rep was miffed at how picky I was being. If I wanted a replacement, I would have to go back out and inspect it personally, then get the keys since, “At Budget we just can’t keep changing contracts for fussy customers.” This whole farce took me about an hour to get straight, so three cheers for booking your YWG Budget rental on line. Not!