Wouldn't it be great if just this one year, everything happened right on schedule and exactly according to your master plan. Or would it? Sometimes the unexpected is the greater experience. It is surprise and discovery and uncharted sea, an untraveled road, and an unused dream.

Charles Goodyear failed in hundreds of experiments trying to improve the quality of rubber from cracking-cold in winter and decomposing-hot in summer. On the edge of quitting, he accidently spilled some of his sticky substance on a hot stove, discovered vulcanization and gave us the rubber industry.

Clarence was ice fishing in Minnesota and the fish he caught was quick-frozen in the minus 20 degree air but revived later in a bucket of water. Clarence investigated his accidental miracle, found that such quick freezing did not impair the cell structure of the fish and that gave birth to the frozen food industry and the company that bears his name...Clarence Birdseye.

In 1787 a 26 year old Yankee clock maker almost lost his job because he couldn't wake up a 4 A.M. to get to work on time. His "emergency" prompted the invention of the alarm clock. He never patented his device. His only reward? "I was never late again."

Ebenezer was forced form his nightly joy of newspaper reading by his wife's loud and constant complaining about the difficulties of sewing without patterns. He invented paper patterns and called them by his name. Ebenezer Butterick.

In 1933 Charles Darrow was unemployed. There was no money for entertainment or trips for the family. To break the monotony of lonely evenings, he devised a simple real estate table game that today has become the world's most popular...published in 15 languages...MONOPOLY. All because a dad wanted something for his children to do with their evening.

All these men found the secret of surviving their surprises. They wrapped beauty around trouble and gave us pearls.