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The Ordinary Paper
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One Sunday morning the English etcher, William Walcot, wanted to put on paper some of the impressions he had gathered in his study of New York’s skyscrapers. Stores were closed, and he could not find paper on which to work. He felt he must work while he was in the mood, so he hunted up the office of a Mr. Cram, an architect, thinking he might find some paper there.

In the office he found a boy, wrapping up plans and blueprints.

“What’s that paper?” he asked.

“It’s just ordinary wrapping paper,” the young fellow answered.

“Nothing is just ordinary if you know how to use it,” Mr. Walcot said. “Give me some of that ordinary paper, as you call it, and I’ll show you what I mean when I say that nothing is ordinary.”

With the touch of a master, he drew sketches of two huge skyscrapers. One of these was later sold for a thousand dollars, and the other for five hundred dollars.

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By C.L. Paddock. Reprinted with permission from Signs of the Times, July 2008. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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