By Vanessa Kahin
Steven Loock has traveled the world, sharing the knowledge of printing as far as Singapore, Malaysia and Venezuela; and setting up a seven-story tall printing press in Hong Kong.
Now in Clovis, Loock’s had a hand in creating this page.
Loock became production director for Clovis Media Inc. on May 27; overseeing production of the Clovis News Journal, the Portales News-Tribune and the Quay County Sun.
Originally from Redondo Beach, California, it was a family friend who introduced a young Loock to the printing press of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
“I was awestruck by the size of the equipment,” Loock said. The printing press was made to meet its readership demands, not unlike the press at the newspaper in Hong Kong, a 125-foot long by 16-foot wide contraption that cranks out 100,000 newspapers in an hour.
Following the visit to the Herald Examiner, a 13-year-old Loock got to work for his junior high school newspaper, setting type by hand and printing on a flatbed press.
“I’d gotten my first taste of printing,” Loock said. “I found I had a natural talent for it.”
It was a little fib that got Loock into the big leagues. When he was 16, he told the powers that be at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner that he was 17, and they allowed him to work around the presses doing odd jobs.
At the age of 18, Loock’s friends went on a trip to visit acquaintances in Florida. Loock remained in the state, working at various newspapers.
Loock was eventually employed by Ryco Graphic Manufacturing, based in Wheeling, Illinois. As a senior engineer, he helped set up newspaper printing equipment in locations all over the world, such as the Philippines, Thailand, China, Japan, Portugal and Spain. The thrill of the traveling opportunity, however, did not last long.
“I was in Portugal when 9/11 happened,” Loock recalled. “My family told me they didn’t want me traveling overseas anymore because of it.”
After managing presses at various newspapers, Loock returned to Florida to be closer to his grandchildren.
But the pressman couldn’t stay away from the presses for long — searching for and finding the opportunity with Clovis Media Inc.
Loock will split his time between Clovis and Portales. He will do press maintenance in Clovis, and help do commercial printing items in Portales.