Thursday, March 18, 2010


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.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Fingerprints, eh? Reminds me of when I was a bartender at a little place called Ribby's. Most nights my customers, in lieu of tips, would leave me fingerprints instead.