Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: accomplishments

“Joie de vivre”



Some people just have more ‘life’ in them than others – more things they’ve done, more things they want to do, and more creative minds that take them to different places. My grandfather was such a person, and upon his recent death, my mother and I have been examining his life as we’ve been trying to write his obituary. I’m just amazed by all that he has done – not that everything he did was terribly significant, although some things certainly were, but it’s the little things like his hobbies and interests that add up to a remarkable life. He was a fantastic photographer (although not professionally trained) and set up his own darkroom in his house to develop pictures, he was an accomplished pianist (which ran in the family), he traveled extensively throughout Europe with my grandmother, he had several careers as a teacher, journalist and professor, he had an intellect that I haven’t seen surpassed by anyone else that I’ve encountered (although I’ve had some fantastic professors that have come close), and was an art collector & chess player. He fled his homeland due to political unrest and left his family behind, never to see them again, lived in four countries ranging two continents, and knew four languages. He wrote several scholarly books and articles and, most importantly, he had a tremendous sense of humor. He made fun of people, criticized everything, and had very strong opinions regarding politics; but now, looking back, it was all in good fun (maybe). As I think about all these things that my grandfather has done and accomplished, I just can’t fathom that someone could have the enthusiasm to do all those things with and the heart to survive some of the things that he has. It’s really amazing to me. Like I said, some people just have more ‘life’ in them than others.