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 …
Cowardice or practicality, 1979
Reading Time: 2 minutes As every captain must decide whether to head in to port or continue the mission, I had to choose to limp home or explore strange new worlds.
A bargain I cannot afford, 1979
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Riverside was a popular place for cheap diner food. Even so, eating out is more expensive than cooking at home, and always has been.
… Garp! 1979
Reading Time: 3 minutes I was reading the book from a single-minded, new writer point of view, not as literature, so bear with me if 24-year-old me sounds naïve.
Potential for collaboration, 1979
Reading Time: 2 minutes Perhaps this was another lost opportunity. Not all ideas are good ideas, but if they’re good enough to write down, they’re worth following up on.