Along with Clint’s “toon” this week, he sent this:
Clint wrote, “The roots of so many things we take for granted can be traced to the imagination of creative individuals. Such was the case of O. M. Wells.
I met his grandson, John, in Big Bend N.P. some years back. He and his wife, Mary, were hiking when we chose the site next to theirs. They were in the same brand RV as ours. We became friends and have since met up in several southwestern destinations as well as their home in Maine.
John and I exchange emails on occasion. Most recently I responded to something he forwarded with a brief bio of my granddad. I mentioned that I was becoming aware of sounding and behaving much as he had:
‘My grandad was born in 1890 in Oklahoma Territory, one of twelve siblings, the son of a muleskinner on a subsistence farm. Their nearest neighbor was a Cherokee family. At age 10 he rode a circuit on a mule, sharpening scissors and knives for seamstresses, butchers, and barbers. I’ve seen a photo of him on the seat of a buckboard pulled by mules. I look back at him the same way my grandson sometimes looks at me, unable to imagine a time before computers. Like my granddad, I dislike changes I can’t keep up with. I frown on device addiction, poor penmanship, and the brief attention spans of youth, which are more likely a greater capacity to digest multiple stimuli.’
John came back with…
‘Granddad O. M. Wells set up the highway numerics we all tour on today. He died the year I was born – 1947 Also a travel writer for the NYT, tested autos, and made a few maps for Tydol. I think it is in the genes.’