Let me check my calendar

Feb 27, 2006

My Grandpa Sisco called last week to tell me he’d finally lost the privilege of driving: after 75 years, 2 million miles and no citations, his doctor and the State of Illinois—not to mention his 93-year-old body’s failing hearing and recent attempt at a stroke—have conspired to take away his wheels. But still he wakes every morning to meet his buddies—6 Democrats and one other Republican—at the downtown DeKalb McDonald’s.

Grandpa also called to tell me thanks for the 2006 pocket calendar I’d sent him. At work, I had directed my staff to order these pocket calendars so we could have an item to give to public health leaders around the world. Grandpa, though, was the inspiration.

During my high school years in DeKalb, I and my brothers spent countless hours with our grandparents, eating breakfast with them or bowling with them or watching The People’s Court with them or cheering on the Cubbies with them. Every January, Grandpa would find a pocket calendar at the dry cleaners or shoe repair shop or bank branch, and he’d give that calendar to me. In the following months, he’d pass on pens and golf pencils and pads of paper.

Later, when I was in college, Grandpa each week sent me the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, a pack of chewing gum and a bar of chocolate, and a two-dollar bill, along with a short note of encouragement.

So when the MEASURE Evaluation pocket calendars came in, I had to send one to him.

These days, I use my PowerBook laptop and my new Joyent service to track my appointments and events, slick technology that makes me look to the future. But when I pick up a pocket calendar or a pencil, I literally feel the past, and I’m living a connection to my grandfather.

Anton Zuiker

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