THE @ ICON, CONCENTUS MUSICUS WIEN,
AND NO CRAYON LEFT BEHIND
‘True partner’ credited with committing to great legacy…
‘(Nancy Reagan) is the one who deserves credit for orchestrating
the great legacy that is Ronald Reagan.’
Part of the late Nancy Reagan’s legacy was, as reported in the March 7, 2016, Tribune-Review newspaper, orchestrating Ronald Reagan’s legacy.
About the time I was reading about Nancy Reagan, WordPress announced its March 10, 2016, writing prompt: legacy.
Reading the rest of the March 7th newspaper the concept of legacy repeated jumped off the hard-copy written page. Below are three of those legacies.
Raymond Tomlinson, who died March 5, 2016, wasn’t working on an assignment. He was just ‘fooling around.’ Yet had he not ‘fooled around’ emails might exist in a very different format.
In 1971 he invented and sent the first network person-to-person email. Before then there was no way to send something to a specific person at a specific address.
He chose the ‘@’ symbol to connect the username with the destination address. Now a cultural icon, it’s officially, called commercial at. Unofficially, most people seem to refer to it as the at sign or just at. Recently, there’s been a movement to call it the atmark. The ‘@’ also has numerous nicknames including snail, curl, strudel, whorl, and whirlpool.
Tomlinson wrote and sent the first email on the ARPANET system, a computer network created for the U.S. government. It’s considered a precursor to the Internet.
The test messages in the first email, sent between two side-by-side machines, were “entirely forgettable” and Tomlinson has, “therefore, forgotten them.”
He was often asked if he knew what he was doing.
“Yeah I knew exactly what I was doing. I just had no notion whatsoever about what the ultimate impact would be.”
Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s career first focused on a search for authenticity in Baroque and other old music. Later it expanded into masterful interpretations across the classical spectrum.
His concern for historical detail was legendary. He thought of his conducting as alive and romantic, not a relic of history.
As a cellist in 1953, he founded a platform for his work on Renaissance and baroque music: the Concentus Musicus Wien. His legacy: a ‘calling card’ that uses period instruments.
His early performances were mostly private. Critics, unused to the sounds of the original instruments used by the ensemble, were initially hostile. In time, the troupe’s reputation grew.
Not everyone’s legacy is posthumous.
Emily Skopov of Marshall gathers crayons from 104 restaurants located near and far. She distributes them to organizations locally and globally, enabling children (and perhaps adults?) to develop their creative side.
One recipient of her collection, The Education Partnership, has received 209,538 crayons. The non-profit organization provides free and steeply-discounted resources and school supplies to teachers in 56 schools serving underprivileged children throughout six counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Crayons have also been shipped as far away as Haiti, Mexico, and Guatemala—and batches were to Peace Corps volunteers in Morocco to help them teach English and make schoolwork more engaging.
Damaged or heavily-used crayons are melted and reformed. For special occasions she pours the melted wax into baking molds appropriate for the occasion, creating celebratory crayons.
For Emily No Crayon Left Behind is no longer a hobby. She works seven days a week. Recently, she hired a consultant to help her turn No Crayon Left Behind into a business with paid staff.
She doesn’t record what she spends out-of-pocket because ‘it would freak me out…’
WHAT IS YOUR LEGACY?
We all hope to leave a legacy. Write a 6-word—or one-sentence—statement about your personal legacy. I invite you to share your statement with others in the comment box below.
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