Happy 105th Birthday, Grandma!
Grandma turned 105 today and I’ll actually be in Chattanooga in time for her birthday party on Sunday. She is a remarkable woman and the inspiration for my novelette First Flight.
I had been on a panel about research we were talking about the importance of primary sources. One of the panelists said, “Of course, you can’t get a primary source if you want to talk about the Spanish Flu epidemic.”
It suddenly occurred to me that I could, because Grandma was born in 1905. It started me thinking about all the things she had seen in her life. In the story, the main character says:
I’ve lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Collapse. I lived through race riots, saw us put men on the moon, the Spanish Flu, AIDS, the Titanic, Suffrage and the Internet. I’ve raised five children and buried two, got twenty-three grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren with more on the way.
I’m not making any of that up (although I am losing track of the number of cousins I have). I mean, the things she’s seen and the way the world has changed in her lifetime is staggering. She’s an amazing woman, still sharp and interested in everything. I can’t introduce you to her for real, but the story comes pretty close.