I was never very close with my grandmother, more because of physical distance between us than anything else.
I would see her at holidays and on vacation, but very little otherwise.
It is only as an adult, working as a professional writer, that I have had the time and the freedom to spend more time with her. She has expressed interest in me helping her write her memoirs, which at first I was hesitant about, but then as I learned more about her I had to accept her proposal. I knew that grandma was one of the founders of the biggest heating and cooling system production company in this part of the country, but I didn’t know everything she had accomplished. At that time in America, women were rarely business owners, and never as hands-on as grandma was with her furnace factory. There was not enough demand to make cooling systems in mass quantities, so they focused exclusively on furnaces at the time. Grandma faced a lot of push back, not only from other business owners, but the employees in her furnace factory! Some men didn’t like the idea of working for a woman, even if the furnace factory paid excellent wages. She never backed down, never showed weakness, and over the years earned the respect of her peers in the HVAC industry. Before talking with her I was absolutely unsure about writing her memoirs, because the furnace factory sounded like a boring subject. On the other hand, her struggles to make it in the HVAC industry are quite fascinating
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