Of All the Dr. Bronners I Have Known

magic all one suds makersMy dad’s been dead for over seven years now. But strangers still come up to me, telling me what a great man he was. Greatness is like that.

Failings are more intimate. My brother curses our dad every time I see him.

Sometimes it works that way for Dr. Emanuel Bronner in the documentary Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox.

It’s full of actual film/video of the great man. From the 70’s and 80’s I’d guess.
It’s an amazing story of what it actually takes for a man to be great.

He tried to talk his parents to move out of Germany. They decided to wait out the Nazis. He gets a postcard from his dad saying “You were right.” He never heard from them again. What a horrible last thing for your father to tell you.

I don’t think my brother ever heard his dad tell him “You were right.”

Soon Emanuel starts traveling around, spreading the word on Magic All One! His family stays behind. His wife dies. His kids go through foster homes and orphanages.

After an argument with a University of Chicago professor, Doc B gets sent to an insane asylum. Luckily, he breaks out, heads to California, and makes it big in the soap business.

Then he re-collects his kids. They help with the soap. One son dies. Another takes over. The Doc dies, but his legacy keeps going. Grandkids run the place now.


His last wife says something like, “Maybe we underestimated how great he really was!”

Watching his remaining son spreading the “Dr. Bronner’s Magic All One” word is fascinating.

One person tells him, Your dad’s story could have been really negative, but he turned it into something good.

I don’t think it was just him.

I guess it’s what you dwell on.

I wish there was a way to read the soap labels’ words without actually having to read the soap labels. Their formatting is dreadful.

This is just an amazing documentary. It shows so many different sides of not just one man, but of his greater family. You can see where all the pieces fit. If you choose to, you can be like so many other strangers and accept that Dr. Bronner was a great man. Or, you can watch this movie, get a little more intimate with his life, and decide to make him a great man yourself. Or not.

At least if you use his soap, you’ll get clean and feel 50 years younger!

About Lyle Verbilion

I'm just wanderin' around lookin' at things. Wow.
This entry was posted in Vidi and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *