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there was innovation, dreams of greatness
holding promise for shining lives and
we worked, lived, feasted, and drank in every
snapshot of imagination
only to be left standing outside
windows of wood,
streets of dampened memory,
and walls of plastered
I suppose there was a time, in the heyday of Kodak in Rochester, NY, when many Kodak employees thought they were living in a sort of utopia. At one time, Kodak was the largest employer in the area with over 50,000 workers. Today the company is a mere shadow of that glory, having been too quick to diversify its business interests, and too slow to jump on the digital roller coaster. In 2010 the company was taken off of the S&P 500 Index.
I recall a front page story in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle a few years ago that described the struggles Kodak was having with one of the last products that was "made" in America: The throw-a-way camera. One the front page was a color photo of the Kodak camera, and the Fuji camera. Lines and arrows pointed to various components of each, and told where each part was made. For the Kodak camera: Mexico, China, Mexico, China, China, Mexico. For the Fuji: South Carolina, USA.
The story told of the difficulties Kodak was having with globalization and such. But the upshot for me was this: Buy American. Buy Fuji.
Utopia is a dream. Not even a vision, really.
Reality is in the streets.
Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker
Photo©2011 R. Burnett Baker
Photo of the Kodak World Headquarters, Rochester, NY taken by R. Baker.