In any business you need regular customers to succeed. Be it a bar or a photo lab, it doesn’t matter. I’m grateful to the regulars at my store. Without them I’d be finished. The beauty of the regular is that like a bartender I know what they want. The regulars are predictable in a most comfortable way. “Hey Phil, the usual…4×6’s with a sloppy border, see ya Friday.” I know when I walk in to my corner bar that the barkeep knows me. I just nod and a Makers and soda appears a minute later. Same thing in the lab when certain folks walk in I’ll reach for the Tri X, or I’ll grab their 8×10’s so that by the time they get to the counter the goods are waiting.
Regulars are always good to b.s. with too. They brighten the day for the staff, especially the veteran staff of which I’m lucky to have. Of course there are a few unsavory regulars. “like a picture on a fridge that’s never stocked with food.” (Paul Westerberg) I see them coming as well, but hey we need all of them, the good and the bad. So as I write this I lift my glass of bourbon and say, “HERE’S TO THE REGULARS.”