Destruction to Redemption
Three days after the tornado hit Joplin, Mo., our editorial team gathered
for our monthly meeting. Having been through a natural disaster (Hurricane
Isabel) but to a much lesser extent (see October 2003 USGlass, page 4),
I was profoundly sad for the people of Joplin.
I just could not get the image of St. John’s Hospital out of my mind.
The news reports at the time were that at least five people had been killed
by flying glass (this was later corrected as they had actually died because
a generator went out). “Here we go again,” I said, “the glass always gets
the blame.” That was the case with the hurricanes of the late 1970s and
1980s—until studies showed that debris from roofs and from inside the
building were the major causes of damage. Since that time, there have
been many studies with any number of results, all of which are a variation
of this: when the glass stays in the frame there is less damage. Period.
Our editors quickly realized that Joplin had implications for the readers
of all of our magazines. What followed was the development of an unprecedented
company-wide special report about Joplin across each of our publications.
On page 30,
you’ll see Megan Headley’s detailed report about Joplin, tornadoes and
glass. It’s an excellent piece from which I am sure you will benefit.
If you make or sell doors and/or windows, you will want to read the in-depth
two-part investigative series in the July/August DWM/Door & Window
Manufacturer Magazine by Tara Taffera. Tara also traveled to Lubbock,
Texas, to the Hurricane Research Center to see how glass fares in high
winds. (You can also catch her video newscast about it at www.dwmmag.com).
Editor Katie Hodge looked at film as a possible solution for keeping glass
in place during tornadoes in the September/October issue of her Window
Film magazine (www.windowfilmmag.com).
Ellen Rogers of Architect’s Guide to Glass is developing an article that
educates architects about the use of glass in tornado-prone areas. And
Penny Stacey of AGRR Magazine is in the process of writing a feature about
what happened to the auto glass industry in Joplin. It was a never-before
seen effort across all our publications to bring the news to readers in
a way that relates uniquely to the readers of each magazine.
When you read the article in USGlass, you will see there are technologies
that can help glass mitigate damage in a tornado. So maybe some good will
come from Joplin after all.
And if I had to give a theme to this issue, redemption is the word I’d
use. In addition to learning about tornado-resistant glass, we also have
an interview with Leon Silverstein concerning the events surrounding the
bankruptcy of his company, Arch Aluminum & Glass, last year. This
telling interview appears on page
Also in this issue is our preview of the upcoming Atlanta Show. All our
editors will be there in booth #2411. I will be there September 12-13
this year, so if you are there, please say hi. You just might go home
with an iPad to boot.
One final note for this September issue. It makes a decade since we tore
up the cover of our October issue and replaced it with the image of glass
F-16s flying overhead. We keep all those who were killed or injured and
all those who were affected—and really who wasn’t?—in our hearts always.
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