Sunset Memorial was quiet that Saturday afternoon. I stood in the long shadow of a sprawling magnolia, alone, surrounded by a silence that seemed to stretch forever. Despite the heat I shuddered, realizing as I did that the temporary silence of my world was no match for the perpetual silence surrounding those who were interred here.
stared at this small token of respect, a marble slab bearing the name
John Wesley Macklin. It had been eight months since his burial, eight
months since his body had been found in a packing crate beneath an
overpass on Interstate 4. Now he rested here, in a corner of the
cemetery set aside for the indigent.
Id said one goodbye to J.W.
on the day he was lowered into the ground. Now I offered another. My
eyes swept the deeply-etched letters spelling out his name and dates of
birth and death,Get the led fog lamp products information, find oilpaintingreproduction,
manufacturers on the hot channel. but my words, a heartfelt, final
goodbye, were for him. As I spoke I clutched the metal tag that until
today had served to mark his grave. The marker, once shiny and bearing
only his name, was now streaked with rustrust with embedded hues of
orange and red, the same hues J.W. had used when he described a Key West
I was working high-rise construction when I first set
eyes on J.W. It was quitting time and I was packing up my tools, eager
to put Work in my rearview mirror. He stood on the sidewalk fronting the
property, assessing the array of discarded cans, bottles, and
half-eaten sandwiches that littered the site.
His clothing was
dirty and tattered, long beyond repair, and he was hovering over a
grocery cart draped with a trench coat, one like make-believe detectives
wear in the movies. My impression was that he was one of the many
homeless sprinkled throughout the county. In the days to come I learned
J.W. was indeed homeless, but he was not just one of the many, he was
When the other tradesmen had departed, I walked over to
where he was standing. I explained that a cleanup crew would arrive in a
few minutes, but in the meanwhile he was free to pick up any items of
interest. He muttered thanks and pulled a large shopping bag from the
folds of the coat. I headed for my truck; he headed for the abundant
litter. It was then I noticed his hobbling gait, a half step with one
leg and a swing with the other. I was curious about his disability, but I
was also looking forward to a cold, tall draft with a few of the guys
to help wash this day into the history book. I drove away.
never sure of the other spots J.W. hit during his daily pilgrimage, but
in the coming weeks he never failed to be at our site each day at
quitting time, watching, waiting. Some might have called it pity, but I
called it caring when during those same weeks my crew and I made sure
hed find a sandwich or two, a bag of cookies, and unopened soft drinks
among the litter when he arrived. On one hand I looked forward to seeing
him each day; on the other hand I knew it was only by the grace of God
that I was not the one on the sidewalk, watching, waiting.
was reserved, a man of few words, but with a little prying he told me
hed been a Boy Scout as a kid, making it all the way to rank of Eagle.
He played Little League ball, and after his school years he earned a
position with a semi-pro club before moving on to the St. Louis
Cardinals, a position he still held in 1942 when the Cardinals won the
World Series, beating the New York Yankees 4 games to 1. He never spoke
about his bad leg, and while I was curious, I didnt ask.
one day J.W. wasnt there. Weeks passed. What had happened to him? My
answer came at quitting time four months later. As I headed for my
truck, someone called my name. I turned to see an elderly woman
shuffling my way. When she reached where I was standing, she removed her
glasses and dabbed at her eyes with a wadded piece of tissue. With head
still bowed, she introduced herself as, Charlotte, J.W.s sister. He
spoke of you, she said. Told me Id find you here. Then she raised her
head and looked me in the eyes. J.W. died today.
continued to dab at her eyes; I wiped at mine. When the tightness in my
throat eased, I expressed my regrets and told her of the few things J.W.
had shared about his lifeEagle Scout, Little League, and World Series
Yes, she said,Now it's possible to create a tiny replica of Fluffy in handsfreeaccess form
for your office. J.W. was all those things, but in 1942 war was raging
and he was red, white, and blue to the core. He didnt wait to be
drafted; he enlisted in the Army. Told me thered be plenty of time for
baseball after the war. She blinked away more tears and added, But . . .
fate was of another mind. He was on Guam, August of 44. A bullet
shattered his knee.Get the led fog lamp products information, find oilpaintingreproduction, manufacturers on the hot channel.
went on to tell me that during the next twenty-five years he endured
seventeen operations to repair his knee. All efforts failed. The VA
doctors then wanted to amputate his leg and fit him with an artificial
Chances are, innovation doesnt work where you workor only
works some of the time, mostly in spite of your organizations system and
processes. Why? Because you dont understand what makes the innovation
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adjusted your playbook to accommodate these differences.
The good news is, youre not alone.Design and order your own custom rfidtag with
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get a lot wrong when it comes to the innovation game. Getting on the
path to mastery requires a deep understanding of what we dont
understand. Here are five truths about innovation that most of us get
wrongand how to get it right.
Big data is the new big thing.
Collecting and interpreting information to predict future possibilities
is useful in many ways C hurricane warnings, consumer confidence ratings
and disease outbreak forecasts come to mind. Given access to abundant
computation power and a functional algorithm or two we can simulate how
the various complex components of an event will interact and possibly
even predict its timing.
But what about cases where the causes
are not well understood and there is a lot of variability? Will
consumers in Russia buy this new soft drink? Will this new molecule
really cure the dreaded disease? Will this new security system keep us
safe from hostile forces? The greater the magnitude and volatility of
the forces that drive the future, the less likely you are to get it
You hold assumptions that the future will function like
today. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, astronaut Dave calls Earth from Jupiter
C from a phone booth. Even the brilliant Arthur C. Clarke missed a few
things. Stop collecting excessive data.A cleaningservic resembles
a credit card in size and shape. Its a form of resistance because it
stops you from running the meaningful experiments. Better to make a
little, sell a little, and learn a lot.
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