As my parents and I sat down to dinner and watched the inauguration coverage, my dad told me something I never heard before. Okay, he claims to have told me, but believe me, I would have remembered something this significant.
In 1953, my dad was living in Minneapolis with his parents. His father worked at an electronics company and had gotten to know three African American women working in the factory of the company. He suggested that the company integrate the office and promote them to office workers. According to my dad, my grandfather developed an ulcer from the stress of trying to integrate the office. They subsequently moved out of Minneapolis and into New Ulm. My grandfather's health deteriorated for the next, I believe, 20 years and he died shortly before my parents got married. It makes me happy knowing that both sides of my family were progressive, accepting and open minded.