Today is my grandfather’s birthday, and he would have been amused at how I spent it.
I’ve been attending the Blogher conference; this year it’s right here in New York. There are speakers and breakout sessions, networking and parties. The days are long but interesting. It’s great seeing a multitude of women immersed in new media and self expression.
Grandpa had three sons. When his first grandchild turned out to be a girl, it didn’t occur to him to treat me as unintelligent. For a few of my early years I lived with my grandparents. Grandma taught me sewing and food prep and how to set a proper table. Grandpa let me watch the news with him and shared his political opinions with me. He was stern but believed in his grandkids. While some anti-education folks married into the family, he announced that I was going to college. I was still in elementary school. Was this an edict, prophecy or call to battle?
My grandfather left Ecuador as a teenager. Back then you could work hard to improve your economic status, and he did. He retired a tool and die maker, a skilled tradesman with a love of the English language. He died a few years ago just shy of his 103rd birthday. In his last year or so he started reverting to his language of origin, but always pronounced my name in English.
I remember him asking me about words: where did this word come from, why does that bank have its name? Two generations later, I’m using words with a platform and technology he could never have imagined.
Happy Birthday to a man whose thinking was a generation ahead of his time.