Old Friends, Old Vows, New Pledges

Work, like life, is not always a bowl of cherries. At one point or another, I'm sure most of you have experienced bleak points in your careers for whatever reason. I preach a lot about fighting the good fight for sustainability, ethics, integrated design, etc. But doing so often means you're going to take a few punches.

03/01/2006


Work, like life, is not always a bowl of cherries. At one point or another, I'm sure most of you have experienced bleak points in your careers for whatever reason. I preach a lot about fighting the good fight for sustainability, ethics, integrated design, etc. But doing so often means you're going to take a few punches. In a 15-round slugfest, the question becomes do you get up for more chin music or do you stay on the mat? I must confess I've been on the receiving end of some hard shots to the jaw of late. In fact, in one of those reeling moments I flashed back to the time I first considered accepting the mantle of chief editor of this publication. Frankly, I was a little frightened of such responsibility, but the words from a song from one of my kids' videos helped inspire my decision: Go the distance . Six years later, a different tune echoes through my mind: "In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade, he carries the reminder of every glove that laid him down or cut him, 'til he cried out in his anger and his shame: 'I am leaving, I am leaving,' but the fighter still remains."

This last stanza of the Simon and Garfunkel classic is important. It represents hope. And for me, the notion was reinforced by the example of a real-life fighter: George Farrell. It's my sad duty to report that George, at 80-years young, has passed away. Long-time readers know the name well, as he was the co-author of "The Art of Protecting Electrical Systems," a series he wrote with the also departed Frank Valvoda, that spanned two decades. His passing saddens but fortifies me. George's son, in notifying me, recalled his father as a "fighter of the good fight." Something I will not dispute. Despite his retirement, George maintained his relationship with the publication, and in fact, recently penned a criticism of a perceived relaxation of codes in this country. George was also working with us to re-release an electronic update of his much-appreciated series for a new generation of readers. He was still fighting to the end. He could go the distance. In tribute to George, we will continue with the the series in our electrical news-letter. But I need your help. In his spirit, I ask that you, our readers, continue his work by updating these engineering nuggets with post-publication commentary in a forum we will make available on the website.

In noting George's passing, I'm emboldened to make a second request. Let us know about great engineers whom you work with or have worked with and who inspire you. We'll note these designers in our pages, and perhaps this effort will culminate in an "engineer of the year award." And to inspire young people in this profession, let's also report on rising stars to ensure a new generation of engineers will be there to keep on fighting the good fight.





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