"He was a sculptor ... he was an important man, he shaped the world, he did things to the world. The world was bankrupted 10 million fine actions the night he died.
"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies; a child, a book, a painting, a garden planted, a house, a wall built or a pair of shoes made ... something your hand touched in some way ... and when people look at that tree or flower you planted, you're there.
"It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away."
-- Excerpt from "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury
I was saddened to hear news of the passing of philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Cook.
He has my utmost respect for the kind of life he lived.
Even though he was a billionaire he never forgot the common roots where he began and always found ways to shape our world so it is a better place because he lived.
I share his love of preservation of historic structures and am so thankful he poured his expertise and funding into restoring the historic West Baden Springs and French Lick Hotels, several historic buildings in Bloomington as well as many others state wide.
He gave each project his own special touch.
This past Tuesday he was on the job at his last project; restoration of the former Central Avenue United Methodist Church in Indianapolis which will house the new headquarters for Indiana Landmarks.
The quote above by Ray Bradbury reminded me so much of Bill Cook. It has been on my refrigerator door for years where I see it everyday.
I never want to forget that it is so important you are "present" in life and not just coasting by.
We all have troubles that complicate our lives, but the people that leave a lasting mark are the ones like Bill Cook who understand it is "the touching" that makes the difference.