I was quite aware that my grandfather was a HVAC expert with a thriving business, but we weren’t too close.
He was quite a jaded person by the time I came around, so we never quite got to bond as I grew up. This made it all the more shocking when he came to see me last year and asked if I’d help him write his memoirs. My grandfather had come across some of my stories from college, and thought I was perfect to help him tell his story. In the beginning I knew memoirs about the Heating and Air Conditioning industry would be dull, but that was so far from the truth. I came to learn that my grandfather was the first person in the whole city to hire female AC experts. Before he did so, girls were only allowed to be secretaries or office drones. Many men didn’t want them to work with the ACs. It was not “girl’s work” at that period, but my grandfather got a job application from a young woman who was legitimately skilled with ACs. He broke the “gender line” and made her a full AC expert, something that rubbed the male workers the wrong way. My grandfather commanded they accept this woman as an C expert of equal capacity to the men, or they would lose their jobs. He lost twenty wonderful AC experts that day, he said, but managed to hire new, better people, including a lot more girls! That first female AC expert that my grandfather hired was legitimately well known to me, because one day she’d be my grandma!