As I noted in Snapshots, the Just Write group is finding inspiration in photographs. Our inspiration began with the poem mobile architecture by José Felipe Alvergue (and other related poems suggested on the same web page) and we picked photos of our families to inspire our writing. While some members of the group have dug deep into their own pasts and sharing photos of their childhood or college, I have continued to explore different branches of my family.

I am a writer and the dream of writing has possessed me since childhood but I have always wondered where that creativity came from as come from a long line of hardworking farmers with nary a dreamy poet in the lot. But conversations with family members have taught me (and reminded me) that my grandparents were creative in their own ways and as ingenious as their circumstances allowed. For example, my maternal grandfather Arthur Tack was a farmer as I described but he was also an inventor, hacker, and tinkerer who built not only the pictured potato planter but also a potato harvester. While others patented machines for these purposes he did not choose to buy those machines but instead built his own. I love the pride displayed with the Tack’s Special label on the potato crate. Both of my grandfathers became farmers by fate rather than choice but they also found ways to invent themselves. Search your own history or your family for the inventors.