40 Years Young

by Tony Shepley, 

How much has our world changed since 40 years ago? In 1978, we were just being exposed to the first video games. Pong was a very basic tennis style video game and Space Invaders was one of the first battle games, crude but charming. Graphics were rudimentary and who could forsee the explosion of game popularity that would take place? We weren’t forecasting mobile apps or gaming on a cell phone, because no one had dreamt of a portable phone with a screen. Commercially available mobile phones were just coming to be in 1978. They were closer to the size of WW2 walkie talkies than what we know today. Prior to that “mobile” phones were actually wired in as part of an automobile’s equipment and could easily way between 40 and 80 pounds.

An average starter home cost under $25,000, a gallon of gas cost 63 cents and the Federal Reserve Interest rate was 11.75% (it has been under 2% since 2008!) Star Wars was big (some things don’t change!) We were just discovering the effects of fluorocarbons on the earth’s ozone layer and Sweden took the first step in banning aerosol sprays containing them. Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Close Encounters of the Third Kind were all summer box office hits and gold was priced at $200 per ounce, compared to its recent fluctuations between $1200 and $1900.

Fax machines existed but were not common office equipment yet. They tended to be the size of a small refrigerator and their cost was equal to their size. We worked out a supply arrangement with a vendor to allow us to fax our orders pre-written on their forms to save cost and keep their pricing down. The only hitch was neither of us owned a fax machine and we both had to go buy our first ones. Big purchase!

Power steering and air conditioning were considered luxuries in delivery trucks. Ergonomics were more a thing of the future than the present. The driver adapted to the vehicle more than the vehicle accommodating the driver.

In 1978 Shepley Wood Products came into being as the glimmer of an idea between two young partners, born of optimistic, enthusiastic innocence that anything could be accomplished if we were willing to work for it. And work hard we did! We had the Little Engine That Could spirit and loved the challenge of being the under dog, the 7th and youngest lumberyard in a 10 mile radius around Hyannis. Think of the names that are no longer in that 10 mile circle, Grossman’s, Plywood Ranch, Hinckley’s, PF O’Connor, MidCape, Flax Pond Lumber. In 40 years, 6 out of 7 ceased to exist or simply went elsewhere.

We are very grateful for your support over all these years as our loyal customers. We owe our business to the business you have given us! You have been great partners. We call ourselves 40 Years Young as we still have a love for the business and the enthusiasm of youth. We have next generations training up and moving forward to keep things fresh. We are excited about improving ourselves and our service. We also have the experience of 40 years to bolster us. We put our business to work to support yours. We are focused on building professionals and the trades. We are focused on you. Thanks for the first 40 years. Here’s to celebrating the next 40 in 2058!


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Phone: 508-862-6200
Toll-free: 800-227-7969
Facsimile: 508-862-6012

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75 Ben Franklin Way, Hyannis, MA 02601
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2238 Route 6, Wellfleet, MA 02667
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