Example of a “First Response” Inquiry

In the last MBAA Communicator, I shared my desire to create an organized "first response" to the increasing number a research inquiries that MBAA receives each year. I mentioned that individuals from all walks of life view MBAA and its 127-year heritage as a natural go-to resource for a wide range of information, both personal and scholarly in nature and on many levels. As the Heritage Chair, my goal is to help these folks get answers by getting their requests for heritage information placed before as many eyes as possible.

I thought if might be fitting and fun to share one such recent request. The following email was received through our "Contact Us" form. It involves a past MBAA member employed by Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. during the 1960s and 1970s:

My father, Donald R. Lange, was a member of the MBAA for many, many years. He was retired from the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company where he had worked in several capacities, including Brewmaster. In the 1970's, Dad was, if I'm not mistaken, an officer (possibly even president?) of the District of your organization that included Texas.

My dad passed away in February of this year and we miss him greatly. But what I am writing for is that in going through Dad's things, I found a couple of paintings that may or may not be of interest to one of the companies that the brewery did business with.

I cannot remember if it was a malting company or hops company, but I remember Dad having a boxed set of two decks of playing cards, each of which featured a different monk/friar on the back of the cards. I am wondering if perhaps you, or someone, might be able to tell me the name of the company and whether or not they are still in business.

One year, as an anniversary present, my mom commissioned a local artist to do paintings of the depictions on the backs of the playing cards. This artist did just an outstandingly beautiful job, and even though the renderings are not EXACT reproductions (she changed the vessels being held by the monks), they are certainly representative of that company's logos/trademarks.

Anyway, if you can help me in my search, I'd like to contact the company to see if they might be interested in the paintings as they are really beautiful.

Thanks in advance. Will be looking forward to hearing back from you.

Sandy Lange

What moves me about this family's request is how it reflects...

  • A life of brewing industry involvement for many, many years
  • An MBAA affiliation for many, many years
  • An entire family's deep appreciation of a career in the brewing industry as reflected in thoughtful gift-giving
  • And finally, a heritage-awareness that the family's artistic commissioning should be returned to its place of origin...and preserved!!


This heritage request certainly warrants our organized “first response.” On Sandy Lange's behalf, I will:

  1. Contact all members of the Heritage Committee and share Sandy's request with them for any possible input that they might be able to offer
  2. Contact both District Milwaukee and District Texas for possible information from their archived records
  3. Contact Scientific Societies to see if they might be able to shed some light on the requested information
  4. Post the request for heritage information in the Communicator (obviously, this writing represents a summary of the request)

If you have any knowledge of Sandy's father, the supporting companies he did business with, the boxed deck of playing cards, and/or the commissioned paintings, please contact us so we can forward the information.