A native of Indiana with a degree in Journalism, I found myself transplanted to Gwinnett County, GA, when I got married in 1991. I worked for Born Printing in Suwanee from 1992 until the shop closed in 1998.

While I was looking for a new job, a long-time print broker and friend, Grady Stell, contacted me in May of 1998 about typesetting a couple newsletters for him, as his previous typesetter was...moving out of state. That was before the dawn of electronic communication, when everything had be to pasted up and delivered by hand. The Smoke Signal editors would gather hand-written and typed copies of submitted articles, along with photos and logos for advertisements, and Grady would bring it all to me in a fat folder each month to sort through and compile into a newsletter. He would then pick up the finished layout and print it in his shop or take it to another printer for production.

As luck would have it, in 2004, I too moved out of state, but continued to typeset the Smoke Signal, using overnight mail as our courier between Georgia and Indiana. Grady passed away in 2008, and since then email and other electronic “magic” have enabled me to continue my long-distance working relationship with the Smoke Signal staff with new efficiency. I also typeset the City of Suwanee CrossRoads newsletter and the Druid Hills News.

My freelance typesetting work has enabled me to stay at home with my son, who is now 13, and help out at church and our local food pantry. I have done the layout on the past 172 issues (!) of the Smoke Signal, and feel a part of the Smoke Rise community, though I have only visited your fine neighborhood a couple times in my life! I count the Smoke Signal editors as true friends and hope to continue our unique relationship for many years to come.

Julie Edwards


Typesetter

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