Last summer I brought JMO to my grandparent’s house, and he brought his brand new iPad. My grandparents never got a computer and often state that they missed the boat, they think it is to late for them. My grandpa has curiously asked for assistance “Googling” while visiting any of his kin, but he has long stopped making visits. So, last summer, when JMO brought a device that my grandpa could hold and touch, he was hooked. JMO is a whiz at the internet (and everything else), so he found many things that a normal internet user may not come across. He discovered a German site with Pickert lineage before the Pickerts came to America. This was a gold mine for my grandpa, he has spent years researching genealogy. When I got home, I printed it out for him, and he has now told every member of our family about the German site that starts with Joachim Pickert in 1757.
So, as we began to plan our trip to Florida this summer, my grandpa had one request, bring the iPad. He does not feel he is quite ready to own his own, but he was anxious to use it again. Last Wednesday, my cousin dropped me off, and my grandpa and I set off internetting. We Googled “Pickert” and my grandpa spent hours reading every link possible. There is a town in North Dakota called Pickert. There is also a German potato cake called Pickert. There is also a writer for the Times named Kate Pickert. We don’t know her, but she is probably lovely. We also explored his parts of the world he wanted share on Google Earth. Then I left it with him, and told him I would get it back on Friday. He was uncertain about this, and took notes on how to do certain things on the iPad. Friday, when we went to their home, my grandpa had a stack of magazines where he had circled the, “For more information go to www…” parts. We went for lots more information. During dinner, he told a story about driving his uncle’s 1929 Franklin as a child, then he realized he could show us pictures on the iPad. Then he proceeded to look at Franklins for sale across the country, we found one is good working condition for $48,000. The options truly are limitless with the world wide web at your fingertips.
I’ve grown up with computers evolving and cannot imagine what I would do if I could not instantly get information. Information is easy and common; it was an absolute pleasure to see the internet as a fascinating thing through the eyes of my grandpa. It is not often enough that I get to spend so many hours with him and so many hours in which we are both entertained by the fascinating world of possibilities before us.