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Billy.....His Words!

Much of my father and I’s relationship was built on our shared experiences in a paint store.

Despite the 5 a.m. wakeup call, take your kid to work day was a favorite holiday of mine. Back then (I’m thinking around early 1970’s for context) my father’s store used to open at 6 AM! We had one (large) customer who demanded that service and my father knew how to keep a customer happy.  

Despite the early hour, there were often painters waiting to meet us when we opened!

The paint stores of my youth were a different place than those where so many of us work now. 


As many of us tend to do, I remember my youth as a simpler time. But as it relates to the paint store, it’s true: Itwassimpler! In my youth, the statement: “give me a gallon of primer,” only required one question to have the knowledge I needed to satisfy the customer: “Latex or oil?” In my stores today we carry a dozen or more different primers for different applications. “Give me a gallon of primer” is now followed by, “Have a seat, pour some coffee and tell me about your priming needs.”

But it’s not just the product assortment that was simpler.  

Deciding where to order lunch from today is at times an arduous task. With an iPhone and a Grubhub account, anything you want is yours. But try getting the crew in the store to agree on what we all want.  In the 1980’s it was simple: “I’m going to the deli, what do you want?”  

My father is from that simpler time.

I just uploaded the podcast episode with my father and me that I mentioned in last week’s blog. It came out great and I am already anticipating a call from my sister Marci. It’s going to sound like this:

Marci:  Wahhhh, sniffle, sniffle, blow, sniffle!

Me: Yeah, I know!

Billy takes us on a tour through paint history. From his grandfather delivering paint in a horse-drawn carriage, to paint thinner delivered by tanker truck up to the modern paint store you see today, my father has experienced them all.

Follow any of these links to listen on my own site,

SoundCloud or the Apple Podcast store (search for Mark, My Words) and please don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe!

I hope you enjoy this latest episode. The podcast is called “Mark, My Words!” but this one is all Billy: His words!


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