My great grandfather, John Martin, came to the US in 1873, and settled near Juneau, WI where he lived, established a farm, and had children, one of which was my grandfather Edwin.
What Would He Think?
Reading through our family's story, I've begun to ask: what would John Martin think of me, my life and the time, place and culture I live in?
I ask this probably for validation, but I think more for curiosity sake. I'd be very interested in his reactions, and to hear his wisdom, learned from years of hard experience as an immigrant, husband and father.
I wonder if he would he be amazed at the Internet, which allows me to work from Milwaukee with colleagues, clients and friends around the world? Being a farmer, what would he think of the virtual world I live in?
Would the "magic" of computers and tiny gadgets surprise him or would they seem like cheap flashing toys to him?
I wonder what he would have been like, quiet or talkative? A reader? An artist?
Obviously, I may never know, but it's interesting to ponder.
If I Were to Guess...
I think he would be proud to see the family continuing on, adapting to the world in which it found itself. John Martin lived through some amazing shifts in culture: the German Revolution, the turn of the century and the rise of industrialism, World War I, the Great Depression and more. How cool it would be to hear his stories now.
The sketch above was done early this morning, as these questions bounced around in my head. I wanted to capture an image of John Martin as a way of personalizing and honoring him as my great grandfather.
John Martin, I hope I'm making you proud.