It was Edwin Schlossberg’s birthday.
Each of us working inside his company were handed a blinking bow tie to wear. Our black clip-on bow ties all blinked little ‘red’ colored lights. Mr Schlossberg also sported a blinking bow tie, but his blinked tiny little ‘white’ lights. That’s what made him the boss.
We stood in line to approach him to shake his hand and to wish him a Happy Birthday, which he accepted graciously. When it was my turn he introduced me to ‘his fiancé, Caroline’. A sweet woman of quiet demeanor, who politely shook my hand while sharing a brief smile, before withdrawing and staring straight in front of her again.
When I arrived at work the next morning a designer asked, “Did you enjoy meeting Caroline Kennedy?” I scoffed, “That wasn’t Caroline Kennedy!” But he insisted that it was.
I was dumbstruck. My moment meeting the daughter of the most famous U.S. president during my lifetime happened without my even being aware.
I was asked to assist with the design of a brand new World’s Fair by building a 3-dimensional presentation. I was even permitted to personally hire my own support staff. The entire setting of this fair, from parking area to ticket entrance, people circulation to food kiosks, as well as all of the ride experiences, each with a high tech theme, were being conceived by ESI. It was quite a complex challenge.
Mr Schlossberg would often visit my work area to oversee my progress. During one visit I was using a particularly richly textured art paper in my scale model. Mr Schlossberg recognized it immediately, and smiled at me. “That’s the paper I use on which I write all of my poetry. Perhaps you’ve noticed, I’ve a few personal poems hanging here and there in my office.” I had noticed. Both the paper he used, as well as having taken my personal time to read his many personal musings.
Mr Schlossberg was a man of diverse and intriguing talents. Designer, literary explorer, and, I understood, expressing a very complex perception in his PhD thesis. It’s no wonder that R. Buckminster Fuller, the creator of the famous Geodesic Dome, was also Mr Schlossberg’s close personal friend.
Months after completing my work for ESI I was walking amongst a busy crowd along Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Approaching me was a face I recognized, but didn’t know why. She, in turn, was staring at me, trying to determine how she knew me. It was simultaneous. We both instantly remembered who the other was. I could see it in her eyes. “I”, she recalled, had worked for her now new husband. They married approximately a year after I moved on. She, I recognized this time, was the daughter of the most famous U.S. president during recent world history.
We passed each other without disturbing each other.
“We use the intricate two-level scale model you built for us frequently for sales and marketing. We are extremely pleased with your work.”
Edwin Schlossberg / ESI / NYC
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