Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2004


In Remembrance

Dear USG,
Donald J. Mains passed away from Leukemia on November 25, 2003. He was born December 17, 1931, and was a native of Findlay, Ohio. An adopted child, he cherished his mom who passed away at the age of 99.

Don was a graduate of Ohio State University where he received a bachelor of science in business administration, majoring in marketing. He served in the Army for two years, attaining the grade of first lieutenant.

Don genuinely loved his 42 years in the glass and glazing industry. First, he was with National Gypsum Co. and Swift & Co. In November 1956 he joined then LOF’s distributor sales department (Denver district). LOF subsequently appointed Don the manager of its Phoenix district. He was also president of the Arizona chapter of the Producer’s Council, which was, at the time, a national organization of manufacturers. 

During the late 1970s and early 1980s Don also worked with Vega Glass, where, as manager, he opened the company’s Anaheim, Calif., and San Diego branches.

Eventually, Don opened his own highly respected firm, DJM Glass & Metal Sales, where in California and neighboring states, he represented companies such as Viracon, Globe Amerada and others.

Well known as the “Ringleader,” Don was the mainstay of the Glass Round Table for many years, an annual meeting and golfing event for “old timers” of the glass industry, after a dear friend passed away.

Don was well loved. He was respected for his knowledge, rough-and-tumble, salty, tell-it-like-it-is, straightforward approach, his honor, generosity and friendship. His adoring wife Greta and their combined seven children (Karen, owner of Beachside Mirror & Glass in Oceanside, Calif., continues the family glass tradition) and eight grandchildren survive Don. The family is asking for any donations (for a plaque) to be sent to:

St. Jude Memorial Foundation
P.O. Box 4138
Fullerton, Calif. 92835
Donations must state “In memory of Donald J. Mains”
Cheri Kellman
Vice President
Globe Amerada Glass Co.
Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Laboratory Test Reports

Dear USG,
We have received numerous test reports from laboratories that stated that a certain curtainwall or storefront type has passed various air, water and structural criteria. Unfortunately, none of those reports state the revealed deficiencies that were found during initial testing, nor do they refer to printed fabrication and erection instructions or complete shop drawings with all essential items shown (i.e. sealants, sponges, gaskets, water diverters, etc.).

We, as curtainwall consultants, have the very difficult task of recommending “approved products” that have passed laboratory tests without having the related information as mentioned above available to us.

In many cases the test reports refer only to the manufacturing of framing and accessory items. They do not address issues such as setting blocks, jamb blocks and other criteria needed in hurricane and seismic locations.

Peter M. Muller
Curtainwall Consultant
Peter M. Muller Inc.

For the Fabricator

Dear USG,
Max Perilstein’s article in the November issue was of particular interest to me (see November 2003 USGlass, page 16). He stated that in this tough economy he wishes that folks would look elsewhere for their “edge.” I am assuming that he means their competitive edge. He also stated that if you haven’t been affected by what he was talking about (i.e. low cost imports) consider yourself lucky. In addition, he feels it is not morally right to support buying these imports.

These statements are noteworthy because, as a sales rep, I have never called on or met a purchasing manager or owner of a company who did not want better quality and a lower price. My job is to supply just that. If I can source the materials locally or domestically I will. But, if I can’t, I will go wherever I can in the world to satisfy my customer’s demand. In this regard, I respectfully submit some points to consider:

• Competition is good. The reason we have so much is largely the result of freedom to choose and to compete. Trade barriers never result in ultimate gain;
• Politics often run counter to the law of supply and demand;
• Items coming in from overseas are not being sold below market rates—they are the market rates. And, do not assume they are of inferior quality.
I agree with Mr. Perilstein when he states that we should look elsewhere for our competitive edge. We no longer make buggy whips—we switched to automatic transmissions long ago.

D.H. Fisher
Fisher Associates
Boardman, Ohio

A Question for Bob

Dear USG,
I read Bob Lawrence’s column in the August issue (see the August 2003 USGlass, page 14). I was wondering if he’d gotten any adverse comments from any of the people whose toes he stepped on. Too bad they didn’t have huge corns; when he stepped maybe their brains would have responded.

Richard Hollshwander
Vice President
The Glass House Inc.
El Paso, Texas


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