I read this quote somewhere on the Internet: "Our fingerprints don't fade from the lives we touched." Google attributes it to Robert Pattensin, but it has showed up in a lot of places the last few weeks, on FaceBook and Twitter. I want to be utterly honest (as always) and so, now you know these words are not mine.
I wish they had been, but I would have switched it around to say that the lives that have touched mine will never fade from me; I tend to keep relationships going as long as I can. Of course, I am not that good at remembering names, but it is very seldom that the "touch" disappears.
For instance, I met a woman in Florida, once, in a pre-arranged tennis game, and. as we sat out between sets, she talked about a handicapped grandchild who had found a new world in a computer. This happened years before the advent of the computers as we know them today. I think it was that five minute conversation that propelled me to computers, in their earliest commercial form. And from which I am deriving so much pleasure as I write this blog.
A small fingerprint grows to tremendous proportions.
There is an entire other story that popped into my head as I read the quote. In 1956, or thereabouts, Tim brought home from pre-school, his hand-print in clay. I'm sure his older brother and sister had done the same, but, for Bob, this was the time and this was his inspiration. The Bron-Shoe Company where Bob began and ended his business life, was thriving because sentiment was their business, the ability to bronze baby shoes ( foremost) among other things they did. Bron Shoe was the largest, and then the only such manufacturing company in the country.
Bob dreamed of setting up a new product for the company, and we began to count our riches. We envisioned a future with a yacht, we really were that naive!
Our high-school baby sitter was a beautiful artist, who went on to be an artist in the advertising department at the Lazarus store, and after that, taught art in the Columbus Public School system. Roseann sketched a circus wagon, with a wheel to fit the hand-print. The box, that eventually would contain a ceramic version of the circus wagon design and a package of clay for molding, was eye-catching and well-done. The name of the product was Imprints.
On a Saturday, for friendships' sake, Bob was given a "square" at the front of Lazarus, and there he stood, all Saturday afternoon as customer after customer passed by. And did not buy.
Imprints was a dream unrealized, but I had a closet full of boxes that I gave to all my friends' children as our Christmas gift to them. Today, on my "family" wall in my sitting room, I have a round, black ceramic plaque, with Tim's handprint in bronze,with a small bronze engraved plate that reads, "Tim's kindergarten handprint, 1958.
So "the dream lives on, ( obviously not my quote, either). And the fingerprints that have touched me will remain visible to me, always.