30-Year Blink

Rather than breaking out the noisemakers, or tipping the almost empty Kahlua bottle (maybe it's Geritol) in search of lost youth, we (actually, I) decided to remain more low key when it came to observing our 30th year of business.

Perhaps it had to do with the mood suggested by the campy, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek photo we all posed for in the late summer of 1979 (remember, years ago, people never smiled in photographs because it was considered presumptuous).

Click on the image below to view a larger version.

Then again, perhaps I felt we all are too jaded by the dismal American economy to revel in celebration, or perhaps there was another more important celebration to be acknowledged: Celebrating our relationships.

We at Blair Inc., nee Rathke Blair Kerns Inc. in August 1979, wish to celebrate all the great companies, people and products with and for whom we have had the privilege to work — clients, employees, vendors, charitable organization boards, plus all the other friends and acquaintances we made during those three decades.

We celebrate their support, their trust, their patience, (and their occasional impatience), their affection.

Conversely, operating a small business for 30 years can certainly make one cynical though certainly not rich, in the monetary sense. But Blair Inc., and I personally, have been made richer by the experience of always trying harder — sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, sweating the details and sometimes detailing the sweat.

So, here's to the past 30 years and the role you may have played in any of them. And, here's to prosperity, reality, fantasy, security and all the good words that end in "y," as we raise a glass to the years now past and those to come. Salute!

BTW, the original RBK crew shown had assembled at 7 o'clock one foggy morning in mid-October, 1979, as we prepared to promote our move from interim quarters to new offices at the Edgebrook building in Rockford. The goat and chickens made the best of their prior night stay in my garage until their big gig. I gained new respect for the farmer as I returned them later that morning.

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