Norman Rockwell, "The Lineman," 1949, oil on canvas, 107 x 144.5 cm. © Norman Rockwell. Fair Use.
My great grandfather was Henderson Sterling Gates. I’m told that he worked his way up in the telephone company in Texas, from a labor position to leadership. I’ve always pictured this as his getting to the top of a telephone pole.
At the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA this past fall, I was captivated by so many magazine covers and paintings, such compassionate and political works of art, one of which was a beautiful painting called "The Lineman." I think it reminded me of my great grandfather, and it felt like humble leadership and deft, caring labor made equal.
Henderson is a Scottish surname which may be why I find myself most at home wearing plaid and why Vanessa and I frequent the annual Scottish Day Parade in NYC each April (aka the New York City Tartan Day Parade). My great grandfather’s chosen profession may also explain why my mom’s side of the family values crystal clear lines of communication : ) ☎️📞⚡️♥️
(July 11, 2022 🖉 AG-E)
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