Donald Paul Grassini
1/18/1940 ~ 9/27/2013
I only got to know Don in the last half a dozen years of his life. We became good friends in that time primarily because of a similarity in our sense of humor and a shared mutual love of fine craftsmanship.
Don was a practical engineer. That meant he was hired to create systems for industrial production. Often his jobs required pipefitting on a grand scale so he facetiously called himself a plumber. He was a hands-on guy who designed and planned but really loved the actual work. Our approaches to creation were very different. He used plans. I just make stuff up and fly by the seat of my pants. We were both fixated on striving for perfection in our own creative efforts.
Our humor was similar; a sharp and somewhat dry wit that is uncomfortable on occasion because of a certain pointedness. We live in the country where helping neighbors is important and builds the bonds of community. Don helped his friends and neighbors constantly but probably would have been uncomfortable with effusive recognition. We just reciprocated in kind. In that way he was a creator of a society with no name. He was a truly good man who was loved by a small group of people that included all of his neighbors.
About six months after Don died I heard a rumor that he had left me a gift in his will. That was a complete surprise. At almost the same time the Nobull Peace Prize logo came to me in one of those 10-watt bursts of inspiration. Hearing of possible funding allowed my imagination to enlarge the idea by visualizing cloisonné badges for a prize. As the logo developed I realized he would have loved the whimsy of artistically embellishing such an awful pun. When I received the gift from his estate and had the funds to create the Nobull Peace Prize, I worked with a factory to turn the original logo into a cloisonné badge. He would have loved the result. They are just so…real!
My favorite expression of their ‘realness’ was uttered by a young woman, who is an amazing musician. She held the prototype and stared at it for quite a while before saying, “I want to laugh at it but it’s just too beautiful.”
Thank you Don for enabling this project in absentia so to speak. You’ve given new meaning to the term Angel Investor.
Welles B Goodrich