A note from an old schoolmate

Posted November 9th, 2010 in Memories of Horst by neil

At the end of September, I received a message from one of Horst’s college schoolmates. They were classmates in Connecticut at the University of Bridgeport in the Industrial Design Program and graduated together in 1962.

To Horst’s Family and friends:
I was a schoolmate of Horst at UB-ID and was one of seven who graduated together in 1962. Horst was an excellent student and designer but most of all, a great friend.  I remember him as always with a smile, and me, as a sort of class clown, reveled in making him laugh. It was easy to do with Horst, as he sometimes did not understand my sense of humor, but would laugh anyway just to make me feel good. Continue Reading »

Happy Birthday Papa

Posted October 4th, 2010 in Photos of Horst by neil

Jones Beach, New York c. 1979

Today would have been his 71st birthday. It’s his first birthday without him, and we’re all thinking of him… and missing him so much.

My son, Brody, is Horsts youngest grandson. Brody is unlikely to remember interaction with his Papa since he wasn’t quite 2 years old when Papa left us. Because of this, Melanie and I take every opportunity to show Brody photos of his Papa and to talk to Papa’s photos. We’re lucky to have such great photos of him throughout the years. Continue Reading »

Fundraising Via Facial Hair

Posted September 28th, 2010 in General by neil

What began for me as a notion that I would pay tribute to my father by growing a beard every October, has transformed into a fledgling charity ‘event’ that is aimed to raise funds for cancer research as well as support and awareness. A few months ago I had the idea of the annual beard… and after thinking about it for a few days, I wanted to create some way of getting others involved. Why not try to spread the word and try to get other guys to do the same?

Introducing Octobeardfest. This will be an annual event that is aimed at raising funds for cancer research, as well as keeping awareness and support alive. Please go check out the site, and help spread the word around.

With his first kid, and one of his favorite cars

Posted September 23rd, 2010 in Photos of Horst by neil

Horst with his first child, daughter Stephanie. c. 1966 Germany

Here’s a nice photo of Horst with his first-born of four children, daughter Stephanie. One thing that my father and I had in common was that we were both 25 years old when we had our first child, and we both had a daughter first. Well, he had just turned 26 one month before she was born, but close enough. I always thought that was pretty cool; I would love to compare my current age to how old he was at that particular time in his life, and where our family was living at the time. In this photo, she’s probably not quite a year old, which makes him about 26 or 27, depending on the month it was.

In the background is one of his many Volkswagen Beetles (edit: my mom says this photo was from a trip to Germany, and this is a rental car). He loved Beetles, and seemed to always have one. I’m not sure Continue Reading »

Visiting Colton in Seattle

Posted August 27th, 2010 in Photos of Horst by Derek

Gas Works Park, Seattle, WA c. 2009

We have fond memories of my folks traveling by car from Apple Valley to Seattle to visit their Pacific NW grandson – Colton. This photo was taken on an early evening summer night at the Gas Works Park. Papa really enjoyed this park and captured many beautiful shots as the sun was setting over South Lake Union.

– Derek

Memorial Wall

Posted August 17th, 2010 in Unpublished by neil

This is a previously unpublished photo.

In March, 2010 Horst went to visit a 3/4 scale replica of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall. It’s known as the Dignity Vietnam Memorial Wall and is toured all over North America by Service Corporation International. I remember him showing me this photo on his computer, and I was taken aback at how moving the image is. He was very proud of this image.

 

Career Achievement – de Young Museum

Posted August 10th, 2010 in Career by neil

It’s likely that my father worked on hundreds, if not thousands, of lighting projects over the course of his career. I remember him working at his drafting table at home, probably putting in extra time to get the work done. Every once in a while I would ask about what he was doing, and he’d stop to show me the drawings and take the time to explain to me how it all worked. Of all of these designs, there is one that stands well above all of the others in terms of being a career achievement: Lighting at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The original museum was damaged beyond repair in the 1989 earthquake. It was then was redesigned, rebuilt, and reopened in 2005. Continue Reading »

Field Of Daisies

Posted July 28th, 2010 in Photos, Unpublished by neil

This is a previously unpublished photo that Horst took; the first one that we’re putting on his site. I’m not quite sure why he hadn’t put it up on flickr, because I think it looks fantastic. He always was so fascinated with shallow depth of field and bokeh in photographs. Perhaps it wasn’t technically up to par with what he was trying for. Regardless, I believe that it is worthy of displaying on this site.

Way back to 1974

Posted July 24th, 2010 in Memories of Horst, Photos of Horst by neil

For more details on this photo, please see my family site over here.

Designer & Inventor

Posted July 22nd, 2010 in Career by neil

Track Light Patent 1997

As I’ve mentioned before, Horst studied Industrial Design in college and made his career doing just that in the lighting industry. Also mentioned before was that he was very humble. Personally, I had not known about the handful of U.S. Patents that had his name on them. Throughout his career with Lightolier, and subsequently Genlyte, he had worked on several unique designs that company patented. These were for the company to benefit from, but they have his name on them. My mother tells me that with every patent that he developed, the company gave him shares of stock in return.

It wasn’t until recent years that I’d found these patents… oddly enough, by googling his name out of curiosity. In fact, the track light you see in the thumbnail image here… I have five of those installed on a Lightolier track in my own living room and I didn’t even know his name was on their patent.

Knowing that his name is forever attached to design patents makes me proud, and now I think of him every time I turn my living room lights on.

Here is a link that shows you all of the patents that have his name on them.

http://www.boliven.com/patents/search?q=inventor:(“Horst+Bernhart”)&fq=data_source:USPTO&sort=doc_date%20desc