Thursday, September 17, 2009

Theodore Alexander Smith - Early Days of Polyfoam Construction


LIMON, CO (IFS) - It was once said, that if it was not for the impossible construction feats of Theodore Smith, many of us would not have a cellphone in our hands, but a tin can and string between us. Smith pioneered many of the construction standards in the early days of wireless tower construction and protocols in the industry that we just take for granted.
But everyone and everything has a beginning, and Smith was no exception.

Wireless Construction's once King of installation setups and Impossible Missions Expert, Professor Theodore Alexander Smith's demostration and Construction of then superstar writer and artist for the Rocky Mountain News building one of his first homes, and he 's having problems, with boulders, water and a mountain. One of the possibilities is using PolyFoam Construction, with great new inovations in the manufacturing process --back in the early days.

Among Smith's other accomplished first's included the new "Radical Design" when working in the engineering department of Boeing as an intern, at the age of 15 years old.

As told by his daughter, Sherry Smith, a retired VP from the Airborne days, ". . . Theodore was not helping.

He didn't know.

No inspiration.

Couldn't feel the spirit.

Spirit or no spirit, time was up.

It was now.

". . . I was told once by our crossing guard, a real gentleman sitting on the park bench in Rosamond, California waiting for the school bus, as a kid around the age of 10 years old. . . I was very late in turning in my class assignment. . ."I don't know what they wanted, or even what I wanted. . ."

No Clue. ". . .My picture was a must -- right now."

". . . We didn't even have enough money to buy thing like crayons, coloring pencils, with six brothers and sisters, from a box, each one of the children got two colors-- it was only once in a while that we got alot of art supplies and other fun stuff. Mother had some old brown shopping bags, that were really big sized. So she sit out a pair of scissors, and one of these brown bags.

The teacher was on her way to deliver them to the Kern County Fairgrounds Committee, and that was 75 mile drive on a two lane blacktop road , in the mountains, the grade at Techachapi Mountains -- The delivery trucks -- before the Eisenhower freeway systems.

The crossing guard was sitting there enjoying the evening sun, and Theodore began telling the elder about this painting he had to turn in. "He said, get you an old shopping bag. Just a piece of craft paper and anything, stove charcoal -- heck just start drawing. . . "

Within some time on it, the paper began to come alive.

As the young Smith got off the bus and walked into the dinning soom, there sit his teacher with cup in hand, and that look. After school came to the house and having coffee with Mrs. Rillie Louise Sellers-Smith, and she began to tell her that Theodore has refused to turn in a drawning. The Principal Dr J.A. Lawson was the Superindent of our small Southern Kern County School District school, and he wanted 100 PER CENT PARTICIPATION. The end.

So with the teacher sitting at the dinner table, drinking coffee, telling mother, that she was headed up to Bakersfield, and she need "Something" from Teddy. As she put it, "NOW!"

As every other family during those times as a kid, when a loaf of bread only costed Eight (8) cents. And a Taco Bell taco was only Fifteen (15) cents.

With two women sitting at the same table with a brown paper bag, some scissors, glue, and some art stuff. Theodore said, the talk with the senior began to play in his head. He said, "So, did you know that a Fool and a Genius usually sit side-by-side. He said, "One carries the books of knowledge in a sack on his back, while the other one is reading the books."

At that instant, the young Smith went to the house stove and dug into the ashes and came across some wood charcoal. He broke off several inches of this semi soft and yet very light and yet firm piece. One of his instructors in the art class was taking about Spain.

So that would be his subject.

With the charcoal, with Mother sister there and the teacher looking down at him, Theodore made several lines on to the cut brown paper bag, and after several shadowings and more curvy, straight lines, more shadowing and he was finished in five minutes.

The teacher had Teddy sign his drawing at the bottom of the picture, and she said that she would place it in a frame.

It's now two weeks later, Rosamond school grade kids had 100 per cent participation. Period.

50,000 grade school entries from every school district in Kern County. And Teddy's painting that he did on the brown paper shopping bag, was now in a frame and sitting out in front of every mom and dad in the county looking at Theodore's drawing.

The first drawing picked the winners from each school distrcit, and Teddy was the winner for the Kern County Schools District to represent the entry to the California State Arts Festival.

On The last day of the two weeks of the State Fair, Theodore's Charcoal painting of a Spanish Galleon took the State's first Prize for this age group. After that, his teacher never asked Theodore for another drawing. He had received an A plus for the school year.

Elected two times from the Kern County School District to the California State band under the direction of Zabin Meta, as the groups conductor.

This film shows Professor Smith at the Home and Garden Show in 1993, demostrating the product. Short film by SDC Pictures.

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