Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2003
The Passing Parade
Changing Seasons and Saying Goodbye
by Dez Farnady
This article is probably too late to make it into print during the holiday season. Thanksgiving has just passed as I write it and holiday thoughts are always good—holiday or no holiday. So even if it is spring by the time this sees the light of day, best wishes and happy New Year to the readers of
USGlass and the glass business, as well as to the rest of the world. So much the better if it makes a spring issue when the sun is shining and the leaves are turning green again … what the heck … have a happy Easter.
I originally was prompted to start this file in memory of an old friend—a former customer, later my supervisor, a mentor and always a friend—who spent his adult life in the glass business. This was meant to be a goodbye. But this time of the year even a goodbye has to be filled with the spirit of the season. His recent passing caused me to wax philosophical about being close to the end of the Christmas parade. You can still hear the music, but the bands and the dads dressed as Santa with daughters dressed up like little Christmas angels are long gone. The crowds are heading for home and a lot more of us at the end of the line are thinking of warm fires and hot toddies. Here in the West, the old guys are heading for the golf course or the winter-season cruise to warm, Southern climates. It seems only a few years ago we were in front of the parade. We had to finish early to keep a much closer eye on the marketplace and the competition, and a wary eye on the manufacturers for the
first-of-the-year price increases.
Our children are no longer running off to the soccer field, but instead to the hospital to have their own babies. They no longer need us to tell them how it is done, and more and more frequently they are trying to tell us how to do it. Hey, why not? The parade goes on and it’s their turn in the limelight. We still get consulted now and then when an unfamiliar problem rears its ugly head; maybe the old windows in the recently bought house are too expensive to replace and they have never heard of a retrofit “tilt pac.” Or maybe the sun is too hot coming in the living room window and we need to figure out a way to make it better with one of those “E” glass windows.
It is time to hang up the Christmas stockings and make lists of all the names of people to whom we need to send Christmas greetings. My list is long and you are all on it and even if I don’t get to mail the cards, you know we thought of you with the best wishes for the holidays. It will not be long before we are out of the short days of winter, when the sun rises late and sets early, and into the spring. Then, when the days are longer, we will again attack old challenges with renewed vigor. We will remember what we were told when our mentors reminded us to “get out there and sell that stuff.”
For the Future
Anyway, the parade is passing but I am not going to Sun City just yet. My mother doesn’t like to hang out with old people and neither do I. She figures they only think about what they have done, and she, at 95, is still working on the things she has not yet finished doing. So to hell with the parade, let it pass. As with my mother, I had better march to the beat of my own drummer even if it takes me places where I have never been before or where maybe I shouldn’t even go. I am going to find some new blood to hang out with, some eager young men who are prepared to do new, bigger and better things.
Old friends and contemporaries are going away, some heading into limbo of retirement, some to fading memories from the diseases of old age and some to the grave. But as for me, not just yet. I will still be here to again see you start the New Year. And if I forgot to thank you before, thanks for everything and, goodbye,
Dez Farnady serves as general manager of Royalite Manufacturing Inc., a skylight manufacturer in San Carlos, Calif. His column appears monthly.
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