The general consensus on 2016 is that it was a pretty lousy year – and though the potential grievances are plenty, a spate of high-profile celebrity deaths was cited as a major contributing factor: David Bowie, Prince and George Michael – just to name a few musicians. (And not even touching on how two of the three members of Emerson, Lake & Palmer died. Someone keep an eye on Palmer!)
Thanks to an aging population that has lived through a vast expansion of global media, the number of celebrity deaths is only going to get worse – and as a result, sadly, some noteworthy people might not fully get their due, lost in glut of bigger names. One of those people: Robert Hulseman, creator of the iconic Red Solo Cup, who passed away on December 21 at the age of 84.
According to the Associated Press. Hulseman worked for his family’s company for 60 years, including serving as president and CEO before Solo was sold to Dart Container Corp in 2012, invented the now equally famous and infamous cup back in the 1970s as a convenient drink holder for family picnics. “That product was never intended for keggers,” his son Paul told the AP. Though if you don’t have a keg at your family picnic, why bother hanging out with your family to begin with?
The Red Solo Cup is certainly the most famous version of the party staple (even being immortalized in a song by Toby Keith), but upon its release, the plastic cups came in four colors – red, yellow, peach and blue – with the latter being Hulseman’s favorite. “Truth be told,” his son was quoted as saying, “Dad liked blue the best.”
So though 2016 may be in our rearview, the good news is that the legacy of the people who we lost can stay with us. You can still listen to The Eagles or stream episodes of Growing Pains online. And every time you get hammered at a party, you can think Robert Hulseman—the guy who made the world a slightly more beverage-concealing place. However, if you really want to pay your respects, find a blue cup instead of a red one.