Thursday, June 26, 2008
My paternal grandfather died on November 3, 2000. He was 2 years short of his 100th birthday, which he was looking very forward to since he would have received a letter from the Queen of England. Apparently the Queen sends letters to all citizens who reach their centennial. I think Grandpa's dream was flawed, since he was actually a British born American citizen. No one ever argued with him. The day was also significant since it was my brother's 29th birthday. I mourned Grandpa's death and celebrated my brother's birthday in my boyfriend's apartment in London. A wonderful book about death and grandfathers is the book above. John Burningham writes about very real people, sometimes a little wickedly. I like those kinds of stories.
My grandfather came to America with his mother and other siblings when he was quite young. He started college at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, but had to leave to support his parents. He took classes at Harvard Extension and worked at the former newspaper Boston Herald-Traveler as a typesetter. The paper later became the current Boston Herald, one of the trashiest tabloid papers around. I wouldn't exactly call in journalism. In the late 70's he worked for the Boston Globe, before the paper started computerized printing. I am telling you this because I read this week that the Boston Herald is laying off up to 160 employees this summer, and outsourcing its printing. It reminds me that every time you pick up a paper, remember that somebody once made it beyond writing the words down. Every time you eat a piece of fruit, someone has picked it. Once everything is outsourced in the world, where will we be? Another piece of family history that seems all the more important to me. I miss my grandfather. I wish I knew him more. I just didn't have enough time.
Another mystery I want to solve is this: what is eating my cilantro, and what can I do to deter it? I want it all to myself. My lettuce is getting consumed too.