This was a week of weaving many threads together.
Some of the threads were invisible, at least for now. I continued research into the origins of Bubble Wrap, delving into patents its co-inventors filed leading up to the “wallpaper” product. A Sealed Air publicist told the story to Associated Press on the company’s 50th anniversary. He said a New York City designer commissioned the two inventors to make a textured wallpaper. But why? How did this designer choose these guys? We follow the thread.
The timing is good, too, because my interview with The History Channel has been rescheduled for mid-December. I’ll have the whole story by then.
On the subject of threads, I said in “Red, White, Blue” that in a world of red vs. blue, the thread that holds the flag together is the white–the symbol of purity, peace, and unity. I said in “Fun With Venn Diagrams” that the secret of finding unity with others is to give up the circles that divide us and seek out the things that unite us. That’s also the message of two books on resolving conflict that I reviewed this summer.
Apparently I’m not alone. George Washington warned in his farewell address that the greatest threat to the new republic was that of “factionalism.” The secret is to think of ourselves, as he addressed his audience, as Friends and Fellow Citizens. Perhaps this year’s stalemate election is a move in the right direction.
And the thread came up again this weekend during the 85th Anniversary of “When Southbury Said No to the Nazis.” The event gave us the opportunity to hear from four authors on the subject (and order their books).
The final panel discussion was about how the clergy at the time led opposition to the Bund camp, and how we would deal with a similar moral question today. The panel–Jewish, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Unitarian-Universalist, and two Congregational leaders–won applause when they called for moral leadership.
But one recurring theme they kept coming back to: People of faith, and people of a nation, have more in common than meets the eye. We just have to look past our differences.
Next week: I hope to finish the Bubble Wrap back story and to interview an archivist who may have records of one of the inventors. I’m also working on editing a small magazine-size publication for an artist friend. That and travel are likely to cut into blogging time, so I’ll see you next weekend!
In case you missed it …
Reading Time: 3 minutes Modern Thanksgivings are comic tragedies of tension, travel, parades, and commercialism. We put up with all this to focus on food and family. Where is faith?
Reading Time: 2 minutes What I didn’t realize at the time was that creative “work” and “a job” aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have your cake and eat it too, only in smaller portions.
Reading Time: 2 minutes The history of the Plymouth Colony is dramatic and often controversial, but that one act planted the seed of self-governance, freedom, and independence that we enjoy today.
Reading Time: 3 minutes As part of my research into the back story of the creation of Bubble Wrap, I needed to connect the dots of how the two inventors met. I had a good timeline with documentation for Marc Chavannes, but not enough on my own father, Alfred Fielding.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Digging into history and political philosophy, it’s good to be on the side of people like George Washington.