I just felt like starting Our Friday Blog with something that made me laugh!
So let’s move to our story!
The song said, “shake it like a Polaroid picture“. Today, that is really old school because everyone is taking pictures with their cell phones. But do you know the story of George Eastman (wikipedia), who founded the Eastman Kodak Company? Eastman is the only person with two stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, recognizing him and his invention of roll film.
According to his wikipedia entry, he was one of the outstanding philanthropists of his time, donating more than $100 million to various projects in Rochester; Cambridge, Massachusetts; at two historically black colleges in the South; and in several European cities. In 1918, he endowed the establishment of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, and in 1921 a school of medicine and dentistry there
But the real drama of his life occurred on March 14, 1932. George Eastman who was well known as an inventor, philanthropist, and founder of Eastman Kodak, invited friends over to witness the rewriting of his will. (Yes, I know. A curious reason for a party)
He had made the decision to give a good portion of his money and prized possessions, which included his large house, to the home city…Rochester. As part of the earlier “giving math”, he was bequeathing (not a word I can normally work into the blog) his house and a $2 million endowment (about $34 million today) to the University of Rochester. Eastman also was donating money to medical and dental dispensaries across the city, to ensure that no child in Rochester would go without proper dental work. Finally, he left $200,000 (about $3.4 million today) to his niece, Ellen. (He had never married)
Cheerfully signing the will in front of everyone, he assured them that this was just a matter of confirming his wishes. Later, it was determined that he also wanted his friends to see that he was mentally alert, so the credibility of the will wouldn’t be questioned. After all the t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted, he asked if everyone could excuse themselves for a moment. When his friends had left the room he took out a pen and wrote the following:
To my friends,
My work is done.
As the story goes, he then took out a pistol out from his nightstand and shot himself in the heart, ending his life at the age of 74. It was well known that he had been suffering back pain for several months, which was probably related to stenosis and radiating pain from his discs.
There are many “take-aways” from that story. I am reminded that if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.
I don’t want to end our blog on a down note. Instead… I hope you have a great weekend. I feel like it is going to be a good one. These are the good days. Right?
And for our pic o…. weekend, this makes me laugh too: