Volume 40,   Issue 2                             February  2005

Issue @ Hand

Sweet Talk

February 14. Valentine’s Day. This day—a day to say I love you, you’re special, I like you and a host of other sweet nothings—means something very special to me. In fact, I consider February 14, 2000, a day that altered the course of my life. That day changed the way I think, it changed the way I talk and it changed the way I look at glass. February 14, 2000, was the day I stopped looking through glass and started looking at it. That was the day I began my career with USGlass magazine. So, it was with much excitement that on February 14, 2005, I celebrated my five-year anniversary with this magazine and the glass industry. 
Looking back on the past five years I can recall so many exciting developments and changes that always seem to remind me that glass is a truly amazing material. Over this short period of time we’ve seen the launch of products that promise to make the chore of cleaning glass easy, a rush of products designed to mitigate the effects of hurricanes, bombs, bullets, burglars and other powerful forces and a whole range of products, from coatings to insulating glass systems, designed to save energy costs. There are many more too—so much more that there is simply not space enough to list them all.

But getting back to that five-year mark, I have been told by a number of people that upon reaching this status there is no turning back. “Once you’re in for five years you’ll never be out,” they all said. “You’re in for life.”

Is that bad? They all say it as though it’s a bad thing. I don’t think it’s bad. Glass has afforded me the opportunity to learn and experience so much. It’s allowed me to share some of what I’ve learned not only with you in the pages of this magazine, but also with friends and family. It’s let me share with them this understanding and, quite often, they, too, are intrigued. 
As an example, my sister, Rebekah, and I went to Barcelona, Spain, last September for vacation. It was an incredible city, and despite the fact that I was supposed to be relaxing, not thinking and certainly not working, I could not escape the pervasive presence of glass. The moment I stepped off the plane I saw the point-supported glass walls of the airport. Within moments I was on my knees examining the glazing to see who fabricated the glass. A couple of days later I saw a Permasteelisa construction job site and proceeded to tell my sister all about the company. We later saw another point-supported glass building downtown.

“Do you see that?” I said to her. “Look, there’s no frame holding that glass in place. Isn’t that incredible? Look at how amazing glass is!”

Rebekah looked at me, smiled, and said to our travel companion, “That’s the thing about traveling with Ellen. You may think it’s just glass, but really, it’s so much more.”

And isn’t that the truth?

Ellen Giard Chilcoat

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