The Poetry of the Lavender Label

I was 19 when my grandfather Dr. Emanuel Bronner died from Parkinson’s Disease. I had spent his last two summers interning in the Dr. Bronner’s office, which was in his house. I was perhaps on the cusp of beginning to understand him when his ability to interact with me faded. I have learned much more about him in the years since then from the legacy he left in his writings.

The label on the quart size of the Lavender Pure-Castile Liquid Soap holds the greatest insight for me into his motivations and goals. The Peppermint label records the tenets of his Moral ABC, his guidelines for humanity to find unity and a path forward. But it is the Lavender quart that hosts his poetry, and in that I see his heart.

It’s a lesser known fact that the labels for the various U.S.* Castile quart scents record different sections of my grandfather’s writings in the tiny white script. There’s some overlap among them, but if you take a closer look (a magnifying glass might help), you’ll see different passages. Legend goes that when my grandfather ran out of space on his label he came up with a new scent so he’d have more label space to write. Of the five liquid scents that my grandfather developed, the first was the Peppermint in 1948, then over the decades came Almond, Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Unscented. (Tea Tree, Rose, and Citrus all came under later generations.)

Why on a soap label?

When my grandfather finally found himself in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, he had developed his Moral ABC into a full-fledged, ready to share philosophy. And share it he did. He would speak wherever he was given a platform, whether it was in lecture halls, homes, or most commonly standing in L.A.’s Pershing Square. He was grateful to anyone who would come to hear him speak, and in gratitude, he would give attendees a bottle of his Peppermint liquid castile soap, made per his family’s formula. Soon he noticed that people would come for the soap and not stay to hear him speak. His response was to put his philosophy on the label so that when folks took the soap home, they took the philosophy home with them. Rather brilliant, wasn’t it? Thus, the label was born.


In my grandfather’s eyes, you’re buying the label; the soap comes free.


Through the years, my grandfather never waivered from his prioritization of the label. If you didn’t want the label, he didn’t want to sell you the soap.

In other words, the soap was made to sell the label. Never mind that most labels are designed to sell the product. In my grandfather’s eyes, you’re buying the label; the soap comes free.

I’d like to take you on a tour of the Lavender label. If you don’t have a U.S. quart handy, use the PDF below to follow along.


Starting Point: Turn the Bottle sideways

The best place to start reading this label is running sideways up the right side of the front-facing quart. There’s a 5-line block of text that runs from the bottom of the label to the top. It is a remarkably succinct autobiography that gives the best foundation for understanding the life he chose to live. This paragraph appears on every one of his labels. It gives some context to understand the rest of his writings.

In these five lines, he twice cites the deaths of his father & mother (both in Hitler’s concentration camps), and wife (in an Illinois mental institution) and his own pain and torture undergoing mental health treatments in the 1940s. (I know that leaves a lot of stories untold here, but that would take a book to write.) He also tells of his accomplishments – establishing himself professionally in a new country, his patents, his creation of soaps and health foods. From these depths and heights he pulled together a philosophy of personal strengthening and a passion to help others. This is the source for what he did after.

“To keep my health! To do my work! To love, to live! To see to it I gain & grow & give & give. Never to look behind me for an hour.”

Nor did he. He was an incredibly forward-thinking person. He did not seek revenge or restitution. He did not dwell in self-pity or bitterness. He took his own action as he was able, ardently teaching and writing and appealing to others to live the better life.

“Full Truth, God’s Law, Shall Make You Free!” by Geoffrey Chaucer and Soapmaker Bronner

Turning right from this autobiographical section, you come to the most rewritten poem on this label. Various poems are bylined “with slight assist” or “adapted by” Bronner. This section is about half and half. Except for the title, which is entirely Dr. Bronner’s. Geoffrey Chaucer called it, “Truth: A Ballad of Good Counsel.” I know poetic purists may quiver at his audacity, but these edited versions do leave us with a great record of his inspirations. Had these poets been alive, I have no doubt my grandfather would have written directly to them with his suggestions, but as they weren’t, he sufficed by indicating where he had contributed.

It is difficult to discern who wrote which passages in the Full Truth/Ballad because in some sense, neither Chaucer nor my grandfather wrote any of it. Chaucer wrote in the language of Middle English, 75% of which looks like English and the rest like someone had their fingers on the wrong keys as they typed. Most of us require a translator to read it.

For my grandfather’s part, by the time the Lavender soap and its label came out in 1978, he was completely blind, likely caused by the electroshock therapy he underwent in the mental institution. He understandably never trusted doctors much after that, and so we never learned exactly what caused his blindness. His additions and alterations to Chaucer’s original would have been dictated to an assistant. Often that assistant was my uncle Ralph Bronner, but Dr. Bronner used whoever was nearby. He reviewed these writings ceaselessly, regularly declaring them “almost finished!” Until the next day when he had more edits.

“Flee from the crowd … Be satisfied with what you have.”

In general, this passage, both in Chaucer’s words and in my grandfather’s, focuses on the simple life, away from the strictures and expectations of society. Away from the madding crowd.

My grandfather lived this life daily. He bought a modest house in the midst of an avocado grove, which he considered nature’s most perfect food. (I have to agree.) I find the exhortation always true, but particularly relevant to my current situation. I write this analysis during “stay at home” orders in the Spring of 2020. I have no choice but to flee from the crowd. To find contentment right now, I must be satisfied with what I have. The alternative is to frustrate myself by focusing on what I don’t have or what I can’t do. The challenge is to find the joy in making do. Working with what I have on hand, be it food, entertainment, or relationships.

“Great peace is found in little busyness.”

There’s a story my Uncle Ralph tells of my grandfather. It’s shocking in part, but also indicates that my grandfather lived this truth. According to Uncle Ralph, a woman once called my grandfather and said she had gone into the bathroom to take her life, but her eyes fell on the label of his peppermint quart, so she called the phone number on it. My grandfather told her, “Clean your house and call me back!” Then he hung up on her. She did both, and they talked for hours. She said her life was transformed. While I do not in the slightest want to make light of such desperation nor give this as the only intervention, I agree that there is something deeply therapeutic about a little busyness. Whenever I am anxious or upset, one of my best strategies is to do a little busy something: tidy, cook, crochet, garden, laundry. A little physical task that gives my mind and heart time to settle. Also, productivity creates momentum. This is why I make my bed every morning. A little busyness jump starts greater productivity.

“Work well yourself and work for all.”

Here is the theme, which we saw in that first revealing paragraph and which recurs in nearly every passage: Do well so you can do good.** Personal betterment and community betterment – inextricably intertwined.

Kipling’s “If” (with a slight Assist from Dr. Bronner)

Follow the column of text down the bottle to Kipling’s “If.” This poem is nearly intact from Kipling’s original, though with some extras added at the end. My grandfather could recite it from memory, and he expected us to, also. (That was true for all of the label. There was always a scramble for the nearest bottle when we’d hear him command, “Mike! Recite to me number 13!”) I imagine he felt this poem captured his personal history, though he rarely spoke in detail of his experiences. Of the poetry he cites, this one is my favorite, too.

“If you can bear to hear the full-truth that you have spoken, twisted by crooks to make a trap for fools; or watch the things you have given your life to, broken, and yet stoop to build them up again with worn-out tools… If you can force your heart, your nerve, your sinew, to serve you long after they are gone and so hold on although there is nothing left within you, except that voice that says to them: “Hold on! Hold on!””

Endurance and perseverance. I sense his resonance with these lines. For one, he added an extra “Hold on!” to Kipling’s original. So many times in his life he had to start over. First when he came to America in 1929, establishing himself as a chemist, then losing on every front over the next two decades: his adopted country at war with his homeland; his mother, father, aunt and others perishing in concentration camps; the death of his wife; his own incarceration in a mental asylum; hitchhiking to California; and starting over again. While I don’t agree with all of the decisions he made along the way, I admire tremendously that he did not give up. He held on.

“East is East & West is West & never the twain shall meet!”

This shows my grandfather’s familiarity with more of Kipling’s work, and where he disagreed with the poet. This line originates from “The Ballad of East and West,” in which Kipling refers to the differences between Britain and subcontinental India in the 1800’s. However, my grandfather takes issue with Kipling’s declaration that the divide between East and West was insurmountable, and goes on to say that if all people would learn to see their commonalities, as outlined in his Moral ABC, they would overcome their boundaries and unite “all mankind free.”

“The Impossible Dream” – lyrics by Joe Darion

Along the bottom, you’ll see my grandfather’s words inextricably woven into the lyrics from the famous song in the musical Man of La Mancha. Again, I can tell my grandfather saw himself in these words. He, too, had an impossible dream – to unite All-One the whole human race. When I’m asked, which is often, “What is that label all about?” I know it sounds a tad ridiculous to say – albeit truthfully – that it’s aiming at nothing less than world peace. That genuinely was his mission. There’s not much more seemingly impossible of a dream than that. He knew the odds were against him, and the knowledge did not stop him. I can also sense that he saw himself in Don Quixote because to the original line, “one man, scorned and covered with scars,” my grandfather added his autobiographical, “tortured, blinded.” While Quixote’s impossible dream was one woman’s love, my grandfather’s was to unite the world “All-One or None!”

“How to Love, for God is Love”

Moving left, you’ll find, so far as my research can tell, an original poem by my grandfather, as is “Life’s Goal” beside it. The repetition of, “Who else but God?” shows his marvel over the miraculous. My mind is not fully wrapped around the idea of “Poetry-Unity-Ecstasy-Love.” I think he meant a soul-swelling sense of well-being, harmony and one-ness with the world around him, expressed in the most concentrated form of verbal expression. I have wondered if his German roots may explain his frequent usage of multi-hyphenated words. (The irony of my own use of hyphens is not lost on me.) Afterall, German words commonly build idea upon idea to pinpoint an exact meaning, from the practical Armbanduhr (arm+band+hour=watch) to the poignant Schadenfreude (pain+joy=joy at another’s pain; think reality TV) or Frühjahrsmüdigkeit (Spring+year+tired+manner=lethargy that comes at Spring time; a version of Spring Fever).

“A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (with small assist by Bronner)

This poem contains the word “bivouac.” Be still my Scrabble-beating heart.

My grandfather made very few alterations to this poem, which indicates how much it resonated with him in its original form. It didn’t need much assistance, even down to the plentiful exclamation points: “Be a hero!” “Let the dead Past bury its dead!” “Act in the living Present!” His three changes: adding the letter “v” where Longfellow had elided it, as in “howe’er;” changing the last word of the poem from “wait” to “write” (“Learn to labor and learn to write.”); adding three clearly Bronner lines on to the end:

Til we rally, raise, unite!

In our Eternal Father’s great

All-One-God-Faith, All-One! Unite!

Overall, this poem is about living a full life. Though our bodies are on “funeral marches to the grave,” we have opportunities to do great things.

“Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime.”

My grandfather was hugely impressed with individuals who pursued excellence tirelessly, in whatever realm they found themselves. Thus, you have lists (on the Peppermint quart) of those he most admired – not necessarily because of their specific accomplishments, but because they pursued excellence wherever they were: athletes, scientists, philosophers, politicians, musicians, social advocates.

“Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal.”

While the grave is unavoidable, merely surviving until then is not the goal of life. Nor is sorrow or enjoyment. The goal is to act so “that each tomorrow find us farther than today.” Put another way, start where you are with what you have. Take the next step, whatever that may be.

“Let us then be up and doing … still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor, learn to write.”

This emphasis is on action. Do something. Now. My grandfather did not have patience for the inert dreamer, the action-less, those who talked but did not act. There were many times in his life that my grandfather was at zero. Physically, emotionally, financially. No evident opportunity. Every reason to sit still and sigh. While he regularly spoke of his “tortured-blinded” self, he did not do so with an air of self-pity, but rather to say, if this is what I can do despite what I’ve been through, how about you?

My grandfather regularly would call me with an exhortation to action: “Lisa! You must learn to type!” “Lisa! You must learn to use a computer! It is the way of the future!” “Lisa! You must spend some time working with your hands! It will give you a connection to the common man!” And he was right.  

“God Our Eternal Father!” by Rudyard Kipling (adapted by Bronner)

We’ll end our tour with a second poem by Kipling. This one is very interesting. Although my grandfather left it structurally intact, a close analysis uncovers frequent word alterations that profoundly change the tenor and meaning of the poem. Kipling’s original was written in the height of British imperialism and contains a warning for people not to trust in the country’s might but to rely on God, and also to use power responsibly. My grandfather changed the poem from a plea to a nation to a plea to all of humanity. This is a plea to transcend national and ethnic boundaries and instead to unify under our common humanity.

“Lest we forget-lest we forget”

This line that jumps out at me because I heard my grandfather say it so many times. He well knew the tragic flaw of humanity: that it is prone to forget the past, to forget the atrocities of which it is capable, to adopt the arrogance of modernity to believe that the human flaws of the past no longer lurk. What specifically did my grandfather not want us to forget? All the national and personal tragedies of WWII, from the Holocaust to the dropping of the atomic bombs, and all the times that people have risen up against each other. Further, he didn’t want to us to forget the atrocities both he and my grandmother underwent.

In Conclusion

If there’s one word that stands out on this label, recurring in every poem, it is the word “unity.” Realize our unity. See our similarities instead of our differences. This was what he repeats in all his writings.   

I was taken with the consistency I found from poem to poem, the recurrent themes of taking action, moving forward, caring for self, caring for others, and embracing our similarities instead of focusing on our differences. My grandfather was adamant about these ideas in his life and in his writings. I admire his willingness to face great odds, his willingness to stand alone, his focus, and his passion. He lived the life he said he would live.


*Many of the international labels don’t have the variations because of longer required wording in the white boxes and other labeling requirements.

**Also, the first of  Dr. Bronner’s (the company) six Cosmic Principles: Work Hard! Grow!

55 thoughts on “The Poetry of the Lavender Label

  1. I am in the UK and have just bought my very first quart bottle of Dr Bronner’s Castille Soap and I am amazed that as well as buying, what I hope is a great product, I have also, inadvertently, entered a whole world of Dr Bronner, his family, his history and his beliefs and ethics. I would never have believed I could learn so much from a label and although I don’t profess to have read every bit I will dip in from time to time and ponder and digest your grandfather’s philosophy. So far I like what I read, although I am not particularly religious the message still resonates with me.

    All this aside I still have to learn how to use the soap. Not sure how much to dilute the soap for each of the various uses Maybe trial and error is the best formula but if anyone has any hints & tips they will be gratefully received. I shall now retire to the bath with a capful of Dr Bronner’s in the water – what a glorious way to start the day.

  2. Dr. Bronner has great products but reading your grandfather’s philosophy has been my favorite part.

    I have believed He was sort of a prophet, who communicated with God to share/remind us that we are indeed All One. I had shed tears when reading about your grandfather’s writing, because of the truth and beauty of it all.

    A great message to share right now when we are going through another challenging time in the history of humanity. Thank you, Lisa.

  3. A very brave man shall unite us all in due course! You are truly blessed!!

  4. What a beautiful and eye opening story. I first came across these wonderful soaps in the ’70s and still use them. But while I spent time reading the peppermint label over and over I never realized the different scents not only had different messages but they also told your grandfathers story! I’ve always enjoyed the message on the bottle. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Linda! It’s always a pleasure to hear from long-time users.

  5. Years ago, when I first found Dr. Bronner’s soaps in a health food store, I have to admit- it was the label that fascinated me and drew me to his soap! It was the label that set Dr. Bronner’s soaps apart from all the other soap that I could have bought. The wonderful soap was a serendipity. Thanks so much for writing this article, Lisa. I appreciate your grandfather all the more.

    • Thank you for reading, Therese. My grandfather would be pleased to know it was the label that piqued your interest!

  6. Lisa, thanks for sharing. I was on the Dr. Bronners website about a year ago reading the about section and after reading your brothers stories I could see what an amazing family you had. Those stories touched my heart, because I could feel pure love, honesty and innocence behind them. Your whole family is full of such great souls put on this earth and I for one, am very proud of you all and very proud that there is souls like you all put on this earth. You all make my heart very happy. Thank you. ❤😇

    • PS- also the story you shared of your father, I read a few weeks ago but already knew the type of man he was just from reading your blog and your brothers stories. I had no doubt already that he was an amazing being because it shows in all of you. Lots of love!
      Misty

  7. I’ve been using Dr Bronners products since the early 70s. I love everything 💚 and have given the products as gifts to all my friends and family. i used to love the chips what happened to them? they were so yummy. keep making these amazing beautiful products that enhance my life everyday 🙏🏼

    • Hi Jane- We miss his food products too, especially the chips and Cheezons. Unfortunately, he didn’t pass that knowledge on to the rest of us, like he did the soap know-how.

  8. This was lovely. Thank you. I think I’ve got so used to the labels on your products, that I don’t always take the time anymore to really read them. I’ll have to change that habit.

  9. Lisa, I loved reading this, the stories. Back to the 60’s with the Peppermint I go, naked in the lake sharing peppermint soap with friends. I’ve always been a fan and user; proudly exclusively so for decades! The label was always so interesting and insightful – and fun. Yeah, some of us actually got into it on the love part; we all knew it better then. Honestly Lisa, what I read about the labels; I’ve got to go read them again. On the bathroom shelf, there are four; peppermint, teatree, citrus, ecaluptus, rose. I like to mix them together some. Oops, make that five. I never compared them, the labels. Maybe I thought they were all the same and I was wrong. Frankly, now I’ll probably need a magnifier to read them – they are so small, to put on so much, but I’ll have to look. Buying the message – the soap is free; I get it, and thanks.
    OK, maybe I’ve skipped through or some stuff altogether; the articles here and stuff. Yeah, I like them, some are a help and useful information has been appreciated. Your mails I mostly check and read. But I’m going to make sure I don’t miss anymore like this one! Thanks again, Lisa. Love all you guys out there, give the crew hugs for me. Feels like family, all-together, squeeky-clean from the Sat night bath and Mom’s checking ears all-around. Take care.

    • Hi Dean- Thank you for being a long-time user of my family’s soaps. You have quite the variety of scents there! Pull up a cozy seat, a bright light and your trusty magnifying glass and enjoy the labels!

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I was able to see and understand more about your grandfather through your eyes and heart. I have been using Dr. Bronner’s soaps for over a year now and the first thing I did was read the labels. I was so moved by them that I read a good portion of them to my children. I actually have some of it written down on a notecard that I look at daily. Some of my favorites are: Small minds decay! Average minds delay! Great minds teach All-One today! We are All-One or None! All-One-God-Faith! and Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!! The first time I read his labels, I thought how relevant his words are today. His words are exactly how I have always tried to teach and raise my children (they are AMAZING young adults now and are both so kind and giving to others far more than I). So, I am grateful for your grandfather’s wisdom and AWESOME soap! And, Thank You for sharing that piece of your heart that is owned by Dr. Emanuel Bronner!

    • That’s wonderful, Heather! I’m glad my grandfathers’ words have meant so much to you and your family over the years. Thank you for sharing!

  11. To be honest, I never like the soap, but loved the labels.. Thank you so much for reiterating them in this blog so I can read the newer ones. I love the ones on the new peppermint label! If you ever want thoights on bees and pollinations, I would be happy to give you something to chew on.
    Choose love!
    {speaking of..I heard some politician say “you have no choice!” which probably meant “vote for me”, BUt it stirred an anger in me [!?] and I decided to use “choose love” instead of “sincerely” or whatever. I still haven’t found that perfect job, but I get positive feedback more often than not using it

  12. Beautifully written!! Thank you for sharing all that you did. Now I actually understand the label better and it’s meaning, it’s “why”. What a brilliant man!

  13. Hey Lisa,

    I’ve always been attracted to Bronners & have been able to revisit it time & time again through my life journey BECAUSE of the messages on the bottle. I agree that words are powerful. If your grandfather refused to sell the content without the message then he was indeed a true storyteller; we want to protect our truths so that we can one day share them for protection and healing. How admirable, even now, it is to stand for something.

    I too am a storyteller & can concur that this bottle has been more than a product; it has been an open prayer of peace for humankind.

    Thank you for your public contributions,

    Phy 💡

    • Hi Phy- Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad this article and the labels resonate so deeply with you. Story telling is a crucial part of the connections and legacies we pass from one generation to another. Keep telling yours.

  14. Thank you Lisa for sharing the life of your Grandfather. It makes that lavender soap all the more special…bringing peace and unity into our troubled world.

  15. I loved this article Lisa. I had no idea if your grandfathers history. I was first introduced to Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap when I starting working at Akins Natural Health Food Store in 1998 as a Natural Product Specialist. I did read the label and loved every word. I have enjoyed using Dr Bronners soap for 22 years. I do dilute, dilute, dilute as the label says. I am addicted to your grandfathers exceptionally fine products.

    • Hi Christine- Thank you for being a long-time customer!

  16. Thank you for sharing your Grandfather with us, his words, his thoughts and his mission! He sounds like a wonderful person… a determined person who had so much love and passion and insight that he needed to share and has planted seeds that I hope grow and spread across the world.
    I have purchased my first bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap and love it! And I have sent my daughter two, as well, even before I read your message enlightening us about this special person! I can’t wait to share your letter with her, as well! You and your grandfather sing to my heart and I thank you for sharing his mission with the world! Thank you for being part of silver linings ❤️
    Best regards, in love and peace,
    Tanja

  17. I first read your peppermint label about fifty years ago. I recently read the lavender label and it seemed different, so now I know why. It’s full of great ideas for life. I am sorry your grandfather had to live through so much heartache. He has encouraged countless people to think about how to live a better life, and to have personal integrity.

    • Hi Clara- Thank you for the kind words. It’s nice to hear you’ve found my grandfather’s words to be encouraging.

  18. Thank for this Lisa.
    Your family has been a part of mine since the mid 1980s. I’m glad to know that your grandfather’s legacy lives in you!
    As a technical writer, I appreciated having “something nice” to read.
    Be safe!

  19. This label has sparked my curiosity for 3 decades since I used this miraculous, multi-purpose, biodegradable soap on a canoe trip on the Colorado River. Not being religious myself, I felt a bit guilty using it, but as an environmentally-concerned agnostic, I especially appreciate this quote:
    “In all we do, let us be generous, fair & loving to Spaceship Earth and all its inhabitants. For we’re ALL-ONE OR NONE! ALL-ONE!”
    Thank you for the explanation!

  20. I use and enjoy all the products!
    Thank you for sharing this special information.

  21. I have always read the bottle I always felt who ever took the time out to do it must be amazing. I just got new bottles with the new logo they are also amazing. Just one thing it seems like the Castile product is not as thick as usual. Maybe it’s me did the formula change? My older bottle is a little thicker than my new bottles. I was jus wondering. Either way I will not stop buying the product cause it’s wonderful. I use it for my entire family. Thanks for providing great items for many great years.

    • Hi Rachel- Thank you for all your kind words. The formulation has not changed at all. Most likely, your previous bottle is slightly thicker because some of the water content has evaporated. The liquid soap has just enough water in it to keep it liquid. As this starts to evaporate over time once it has been opened, the soap becomes slightly thicker.

  22. Dr. Bronner’s products are in most rooms of my house.

    Introduced in 1979, I’ have been using them, all these many years.

    I am chagrined, realizing I have never taken the small amount of time, to read the label.

    Just sign me,

    Old and Still Learning.

    • Hi Julie- If you do sit down to read the label, I advise a trusty magnifying glass and good lighting. Enjoy!

  23. I am going to get a magnifying glass and read the labels. Thanks.

    • Hi Jerry- I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  24. Thank you for sharing, expanding and promoting the life-sustaining ideas of your Grandfather. Now more than ever, we should all strive to remain All One!
    Or none.

    PAX

  25. I had no idea about the label! Wow…what a amazing grandfather you had. His legacy lives on. I look forward to reading the four different labels I have in my house!!!

  26. Lisa,
    You CLEARLY have the same GIFT as your grandfather….to communicate, motivate, encourage and STAND on principles that lead to personal growth & wellness. Your ‘study’ of your grandfather is profound and very impressive. I’ve been a Bronner fan for decades (I’m 68) & always thought there was something magical about his product…BUT, I’d never really ever stopped to READ the WHOLE bottle! WOW! I think I’ll take my latest bottle to bed tonight just to read instead of my usual book! Not to put me to sleep, but to enrich it. Thank you for the time you took to introduce us to him! 6 ft. Hug, Janis Edelbrock

    • Thank you, Janis! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the other labels as you make your way through them! Make sure you have good light!

  27. I LOVED this article Lisa, and I LOVE your family’s products.

  28. Wow! This is so interesting about Dr. Bronner. I always wondered about the writings on the labels. Some made sense to me and a lot didn’t. I’m sure you had the most unique childhood growing up knowing him. This is a good read, Lisa! You need to write a biography about him if there’s not already one.

    • Hi Jackie – Thanks for reading! It certainly was unique. He was my only living grandparent so my understanding of what grandparents were like was perhaps a little different. 🙂

  29. Lisa, this is so eloquently written and so very dear and touching how you were able to convey your grandfather’s writings as a measure of his deep thoughts and peek into his soul. Thank you for sharing these beautiful, heartfelt words!

    My mother was German, never learned a word of English in school and loved using hyphens & exclamation points! It’s a thing…I go it too!!

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing this! Absolutely lovely.

    • Thank you so much, Diane! I’m glad it touched you. There’s so much to learn from the generations that have come before.

  30. Dr. Bronner’s! Yay! I have been a fan, a consumer, a healthier person because of Bronner for many years. On my body, in my mouth, on my head, all over! Drops go into veggie washing water.
    Saving your informative, revealing article until later… when I am able to absorb your story.
    TYVVM

  31. Beautiful Thank you for sharing ,I love reading the labels on the bottles

  32. Such an interesting story of the life of your grandfather and your family. Thank you for sharing it. Resilience and perseverance with a positive attitude all come to mind. I have often wondered about the labels on the products – I will now be reading each label with great interest.

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