There is a quaint liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina, named for Richard Furman, who is considered the most important Baptist leader of his time, pre-Civil War, back in 1826, when the school was originally founded as a theological institution. In 1961, the student body elected to unify their athletic team's mascot to be the Paladin - a medieval knight. The Paladins used to be the Christian Knights, but when Furman College became Furman University, their new team initials were, let's say, less than favorable to neither staff nor student body. The F.U. part seemed to be acceptable, and the F.U.P’s is waaaay better than the F.U.C.K’s, but it sure would make one ‘H.E.- double hockey sticks’ of a cheer. Firmenich was starting up a co-ed, campus-wide, softball team to play in the local corporate league. I thought, how bad could this be? I was a Clifton All-Star catcher, this should be a nice way to meet more people in the company, get a little out there, and exercise while I'm at it.
I met and made friends with a few guys from the plant, from shipping, and from the labs. Robert had told me when we first met, that if I ever wanted to walk in someone else's shoes, working in the plant a few days would be an incredible experience. I never actually took him up on it, but if these guys, and gals, were all working there, then the quality of people here runs through and through. It was decided that the name of this new team would be - Firmenich United - or, the F.U’s. Which, again, nobody seemed to mind, and they asked me to design the logo for the team uniforms, which I gladly did, with the addition of our new tagline, "Firmenich United - We Don't Stink. We Smell." I only lasted one season on the team, because even though I was learning to smell, in this game, I really did stink. Running my fat ass up the first base line, I tripped myself and ended up sliding into first. I was out, and humiliated in one hit. Lucky for me, travel interrupted my softball time, and I found myself playing deep left outfield and last on the batting roster, which, in all honesty, was fine by me. I just wanted to be part of the action and spend some time with these new friends from work. A couple years later, Firmenich built a three-story parking garage, complete with a solar panel field on the roof deck, right over the softball field and helipad. End of both eras, for change was definitely in the air, even at the highest of levels, as Pierre-Yves retired to become Chairman, and Patrick was sworn in as CEO.