A Straight Wall is Hard to BuildCrandall, Lou R. 1951-12-07
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And now, This I Believe. A series of living philosophies presented in the hope they may help to strengthen and enrich your life. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Beliefs like houses must be built on firm foundations if they are to weather the strong cold winds of adversity. Lou R. Crandall is president of the George A. Fuller Construction Company, whose buildings in nearly every large city in the United States are monuments to his ability as an engineer. That he has also built strong beliefs, Mr. Crandall now demonstrates.
I suppose the reason I studied engineering and wanted to get into the construction work was due, as are most all decisions of this kind, to my early background and environment.
Psychologists and philosophers have been saying for years that we are what we are in spite of ourselves. Even thought this is a broad statement I know it applies at least to me and I go along with the generality.
I have been in the construction and engineering business for over thirty years. Naturally I think and talk in terms of building. I believe in building for the future and, in a sense, in trying to make that future a shade better than the present and the past.
After all, my ancestors must have believed in the same thing or they would not have picked up in the early eighteen hundreds and moved from the Eastern seaboard to Ohio, a new and undeveloped land. Their
ancestors had moved generations before from England in search of a more rosy future for themselves and their children. This was the spirit of the people in this country. Hard work was a means to an end for them; a means toward a security and a future for their own people.
I was born in Ohio farming country. Work was nothing new to any of us. The chores were many and what improvements were made were made by all of us. The people of this generation were always interested in new ideas. Improvements did not come easy, money just wasn’t that free. In the long run we got what we thought would help us. We were all aware of the value of what we were getting. In a sense this was typical of our country. If my brother and I went to college, which we did, we had to work for it. We
went because of our faith in ourselves and what the future had to offer, not only to us but to our families as well.
This may sound idealistic and I guess it is but it is at least an idealism based on hard, common sense. It’s the kind of idealism that John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson and Randolph of Roanoke had. It’s the kind of idealism that wins wars and wins peace. It’s the kind of idealism upon which God-fearing people base their lives. I suppose it is expressed most concretely in my own business by architects, engineers and what I myself try to do in building. After all, Christopher Wren and those who built what he designed must have felt the same way to express the beauty we now see in their works.
Success of any type in any field of endeavor breeds contentment and to work without it is futile. I recall my first boss asking me during my first year if I liked my work and if I felt I had chosen a field in which I would be happy. If my answer had been in the negative his advice would’ve been to go out of the field as quickly as possible since eighty or ninety percent of my waking hours would be spent either in working or in thinking about my work if I were to be successful.
I think this applies to anything we undertake to do. Do what you do so that it is good for the purchaser or the community, that all interested, including yourself, may prosper. This is building for the future. This is what I believe.
You have heard Lou R. Crandall, native of Ohio, resident of New York, veteran of the first World War, and a man whose services for the Red Cross, the New York Cancer Association, and other welfare organizations proves that his beliefs are built for use not just for show.