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George Waters:
Transcript of Interview Excerpt

George Waters, interviewed by David Rhees, on August 12, 1999 in Rochester, Minnesota.

“But it was a tremendous adventure, and there’s pain and sorrow and there’s great reward and exhilaration involved. One thing about manufacturing, a small manufacturer is like—being head of a small manufacturing, there’s pride in it. It’s like being a destroyer out in the navy in a war, and, God, you’re hitting these waves and the water’s coming and your braid is kind of tarnished, and over there there’s this great big aircraft carrier that doesn’t even seem to be wobbling—Honeywell and General Electric. And you’re just bumping, banging and rocking, and, oh my God, we’re going to get shot down. Damn the torpedoes. Should we go ahead? The spray is hitting you in the face. But undaunted, you move along.

You just don’t know, from Monday you’ll get down to the mail, and what is it going to be this time? Did you get your money? By Friday you’ve got it taken care of. You get a lot of pride and reward, and you’re very close with your old line—we’re line officers, we’re not staff. That’s what we’re very proud of. We’re out there on the line, and we’re bringing the public a product that I think does them some good. So we’ve left something behind us when we head for the last roundup, as they say. And I picture it being on the bridge with that spray hitting you, bumping along.”


Biographical Information

George Waters was born in South Dakota. He was educated in Minnesota. He graduated from college in Massachusetts. He has headed several companies that designed and manufactured medical devices from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. He remained a board chairman until the early 1990s.

George Waters