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Culture & Events / 11.15.2018

My favorite summer

The top song playing from my transistor radio was “Night Fever”.

I brought my first record, Queen’s “We Will Rock You”.

The expression “Drinking the Kool-Aid” was coined, thanks to the egomaniacal yet charismatic psychopath, Jim Jones.

Making a Right on Red became the law of the land.

“Space Invaders” was unleashed and took the arcades, as well as all my quarters, by storm.

“Laverne & Shirley”, “Three’s Company” and “Mork & Mindy” rounded out the top three TV shows.

And Ben & Jerry opened up their first scoop shop in Burlington, Vermont.

Speaking of Vermont, it was in the Summer of 1978 that an indelible memory would be made on my impressionable young mind. The setting was a drive-in theater. It was a moonless, cloudless, warm (for Vermont) summer night and I remember the stars being so visible I could almost reach out and touch them. I opted to huddle with my cousin on the grass, not in the car. We sat between two classic drive-in speakers, just waiting for the movie to start. This was the movie we had heard so much about since its release a few months earlier in 1977 but hadn’t yet seen. But if you wanted to experience it at the drive-in, you needed to wait until summer. And boy, oh boy was it worth it. Star Wars leaped off the giant screen and pulled us into the story. The edge of the screen seemed to disappear into the starry sky. I’m not sure how many times we went back to see it that summer. I was drawn to it. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was unique.

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I’ve been dying to use this expression appropriately ever since, so here goes: “In a galaxy far, far away”, in Old Town Alexandria, a little graphic design shop was being birthed that very same year. In its own way, the founders formed a small rebellion against the industry norm, with principles that valued people over profit. A place where employees would want to stay longer than a year or two. A firm where concept was king and the craft of design was valued. A firm where were you could build life-long friendships. A firm that welcomed the working mom as well as working dads. A firm that encouraged you to take time off and clear your mind. A firm created to last.

Fifteen years later, Providence would see to it that our paths would cross. In 1993, I was drawn to Grafik for those very same principles. Grafik will continue to evolve and reinvent itself like it has for the past 40 years. A long, long time ago, I decided to come here and stay here because, like Star Wars, I was drawn to it. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It remains unique.

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