Mad In Pursuit Notebook

league of grandfathers

League of Grandfathers, cont'd

grandfather hand8.14.13 Back in January, I thought up the League of Grandfathers while looking for mentor-beings to give me inspiration for patience, problem-solving and follow-through and, along the way realizing that my own grandfathers fit the bill. But I still thought I might expand on this to include some more universal figures to serve in my personal League of Grandfathers. The dozen men in the collage above provide a fair pantheon of "grandfathers" who were masters of their craft. I had to be able to think of them as "tool guys" -- practical and professional -- even if their tools were of the paper and pencil variety. And they do need a certain grandfatherly quality -- at least to me. At least they can't have flamed out at an early age because of substance abuse. Oh yeah, they also need to be dead. They aren't just any old set of heroes and geniuses.

Starting with the top row, left to right:

Frank Lloyd Wright: (1867-1959) American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 532 works

Benjamin Franklin: (1706-1790) American author, printer, political theorist, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, diplomat, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Fred W. Goudy: (1865-1947) prolific American type designer (I have a small collection of his books and type specimens)

Leonardo daVinci: (1452-1519) Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer.

Jacques Cousteau: (1910-1997) French explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author, and researcher who pioneered the development of scuba gear.

Charles Darwin: (1809-1882) English naturalist whose travels and observations gave rise to his theory of natural selection and evolution of species.

William Henry Jackson: (1843-1942) American painter, Civil War veteran, geological survey photographer and an explorer famous for his images of the American West.

Thomas Edison: (1847-1931) American inventor, businessman and creator of the first industrial lab.

Mark Twain: (1835-1910) American author (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and humorist

Joseph Campbell: (1904-1987) American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion.

Pablo Picasso: (1881-1973) Spanish painter, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer; co-founder of Cubist movement, inventor of constructed sculpture, co-inventor of collage -- as influential 20th century art innovations.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr: (1922-2007) American writer and civil libertarian.

I realize this list is pretty slanted -- white guys from Western Europe and America. With more time I might choose a more diverse mix, including musicians and athletes. But for today, (in addition to my own grandfathers) these are my guys.