ABSTRACT

At the end of May, at the end of my nine-month sabbatical, I was given a send-off farewell party in the main conference room of the Paper Mill East facility of W. L. Gore & Associates. The party included those associates, as they are always called at Gore, with whom I had the good fortune to work during my stay. There was coffee and punch. There was picture taking. And there were presents-one gray Gore-Tex® gym bag from the Paper Mill East corporate staff, and one black Gore-Tex® gym bag from the personnel associates from the various plants, an unplanned duplication of effort that caused some mild embarrassment until I commented that this resulted from the relatively unrestrained initiative typical of the Gore way of doing things that might be seen as a weakness to some, but was in fact a strength, as witnessed by the fact that I was walking away with at least one Gore-Tex® gym bag. (I had also been given a number of W. L. Gore & Associates pins, hats, and paraphernalia, so much so that decked out in all of them with the two gym bags hoisted up on my shoulders, someone was able to crack, "Looks like you've been to a sales convention.") And there was a cake.