Monday, February 07, 2005

Rubber Is Your Friend

My father-in-law's funeral went as well as it could. There was sadness, but there was also much laughter and rejoicing. I am so thankful to be a part of a wonderful extended family.

I found out a couple things about my father-in-law that I did not know. He was definitely the strong-but-silent type, and although he had many significant accomplishments in his life, he rarely talked about them. Here's one I knew about, but it's worth mentioning. My father-in-law worked for B.F. Goodrich, the tire/rubber company. During WWII, when he was certainly of combat age, he was given a special deferment to continue his research. Eventually he designed the rubber suits worn by navy personnel when they were submerged in water. They were, of course, buoyant and heavily insulated, and his work probably saved countless thousands of lives. And here's one I did not know: one of the space suits my father-in-law designed is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum. His name appears as part of the display.

I am far from a mechanical/engineering genius, but I know one when I smell one. He smells like rubber. There was a very nice full-page article about him in the Akron Beacon Journal on Friday, the day of his funeral. I'll try to scan it in if anyone is interested.

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