A new beginning for Mr. Mac is just days away. He is leaving his job with McQuick Printing on April 27, 2018. We reached in our vault for an article that tells us more about this man who has endeared himself to so many people in this community.
Though his full name is Jerry Roland McRae, we call him “Mr. Mac.” A friendly man with a sociable nature, he makes business an enjoyable experience whenever I go to McQuick Printing. From our talks, I learned that Mr. Mac loves history and frequently indulges his appetite when he accompanies his brother, Benny McRae who travels around the country speaking about the Underground Railroad, Buffalo Soldiers and similar topics.
Mr. Mac has often met his brother in Mississippi and Louisiana, which are my old stomping grounds. We talk and laugh about people and places we both know well like our friend Rip Daniels who lives in Gulfport, Mississippi. Our mutual friend also reveres the Buffalo Soldiers and has exquisite art depicting the “Negro Calvary” that fought valiantly for this country during the Civil War.
Mr. Mac has been in Tuskegee since 1957 when he came here to further his education. He graduated from Tuskegee University with a degree in Printing. His first love was actually photography, which he was introduced to as a teenager. He learned the fundamentals from his next door neighbor who was a photographer. After graduation from Tuskegee University, he worked at printing businesses in Ohio and South Carolina, eventually returning to Tuskegee to work at the campus print shop.
The 4thpresident of Tuskegee University, Dr. Luther Foster promoted him to management, which gave him an insider’s perspective on the operation’s challenges and limitations. This motivated him to open his own printing business and with the purchase of a building in downtown Tuskegee outfitted with the necessary equipment, McRae Printing Services was born. He ran the company for 26 years until 2003 when he sold it to Bill McGough. The business was renamed McQuick Printing and McGough took it to a new level, expanding to four locations—Tuskegee, Auburn, Montgomery and Wetumpka.
He has sentimental memories of Tuskegee in the “good old days, when he was among many local entrepreneurs. “I can remember when we had ten black-owned gas stations. And I think we had three airfields—Kennedy, Sharp and Moton.”
His sensitivity, patience and expertise are appreciated by customers, something I can personally attest to since I use McQuick for all of my printing jobs. Whenever I go there, Mr. Mac and his co-worker, Sheron Scott are pleasant and professional. He lives and works by a simple philosophy “ I treat people the way I want to be treated.”
Mr. Mac has been one of two employees at the Tuskegee print shop but that will soon change. His last day is quickly approaching.