Creating A Masterpiece

Creating A Masterpiece Does Not Happen In A Vacuum

Nearly two years have passed since we launched When I Grow Up, I Want To Be . . . The Memoir of Gino Narboni as told to Charlotte Narboni

This approaching anniversary seems like a good time to thank those who helped us create this word and picture journey of Gino’s remarkable life.

In the memoir, I acknowledged the editing assistance I received from our dear friend, Charles Clark. That’s a less than adequate description of what Charles did to make sure I did not create writing mayhem with improper sentence structure, obtuse, self-indulgent prose, overindulgence in commas, (It’s an age thing; I was taught to believe that when in doubt, add a comma.) and general misuse of the English language.

So, if there’s a problem, blame Charles . . .

Just kidding. He did his best, which was really quite good. In fact, Charles still helps me. One of these days, he’ll stop answering my calls, but until then, I’ll continue to rely on his editorial judgment.

It is not enough to simply list the names of the professionals who helped us bring this memoir to life. For our second edition, we want to inform our readers that the creative and stylistic components—the front and back covers, the photographs, and the formatting and printing—are essential to its success.

We have known and “done business” with Marcy Maloy, Skip Wood, and Roger and Peggy Thompson for 25 years. Suzanne Pack is a relative newcomer to this group, but she, like the others, is part of the team. We wouldn’t dream of embarking on any project without their counsel.

Yes, they are professionals, but more than that, they are always there when I call. They never say no; they always think everything I suggest is a good idea; if it’s not, they suggest a better way.

Marcy Maloy remains our favorite photographer. She manages to capture the moment, particularly the ones you never thought would work. Take the photo of Gino in his burgundy velvet suit; the one that became the cover photo for the back of the book. We were in her San Francisco studio. It was the end of a long day; Gino was tired, but Marcy wanted just one more photo of him alone in his beautiful wine-colored suit. He stood with difficulty; she grabbed that tacky drugstore bamboo-colored cane, and said, “Here; hold this.”   Well, as you look at the photo, you can see the magic created in that moment. Thank you, Marcy, for this picture and all the others that you have taken of our family through the years.

Skip Wood, President of The Wood Agency is a large, imposing figure and the quintessential ad man, but underneath that exterior there beats the heart of a kind and gentle soul. One who never says no, at least not to me. He has provided creativity and one-of-a-kind design excellence for all our joint projects during the past 20 years. I turned to him for the cover design in our book project. I look at it today, two years later, and I love it as much as I did the first time I saw it. What a pleasure it is to know Skip.

Roger and Peggy Thompson and their two sidekicks, Bill and Mary. This is a small printing shop operating under the Minuteman Press banner. The knowledge and expertise this quartet brings to all their work makes the final product come alive. If you need a job done right the first time these are the people to call. One of the great pleasures in life is to pick up the final order and to see the words and images on paper come alive.

Suzanne Pack is a special case. When we started down this path of self-publishing Gino’s memoir, we wanted it look as good as possible. Most of all, we wanted it to shine as a professional effort. We turned to Peggy Thompson for recommendations. She did not hesitate in suggesting Suzanne Pack. We have never regretted making that call. If Charles Clark provided editorial advice, Suzanne was there to make certain the words we wrote were set properly on the page. Formatting is not easy! Even with today’s magic computer programs, it still takes skill and an artistic eye to make the proper bed for the prose. Suzanne continues to guide our efforts today. She is responsible for the website and the blog. Her technical knowledge is impressive and her willingness to work until the product looks its best makes us all look good.

Once again, Gino and I would like to offer our appreciation for the counsel and assistance of Charles, Marcy, Skip, Peggy and Roger, and Suzanne.

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