Everything I do as a freelance graphic designer, actor, singer and even blogger is entirely self motivated. Come to think of it, if you work for someone else you have to be self motivated too. It’s your choice to get up, get dressed and go to work. While you’re there it’s up to you to follow through with the projects and tasks at hand. So perhaps I should rephrase and say, “everything I do is entirely self-scheduled.”
Three weeks ago I decided I needed a boss (to help me with the scheduling thing) so I hired my grandpa for the job. The last time I raided Gram Ankeny’s closet (and found an awesome caramel leather and fur coat – just had to throw that in there) I came across an old black and white photo of my grandpa, V. Scott Ankeny, from the 60’s. What a handsome man! “Grandpa, you’re the ‘boss man,'” I said as I displayed his photo on my desk.
This isn’t the first time grandpa has been my boss. He started a successful manufacturing company many years ago called TAFCO. A company which is still making truck bodies and hoists for delivery across the U.S. today. Many of us grand-kids worked there in the summers during high school. I received the illustrious job of mowing the lawns at the various plants (warehouses/shops) after my cousin, Nicole, ‘retired.’ It was a great way to get a farmer tan. I even wielded a “weed wacker” and helped out in the shop where my sister spent most of her days packing along side a man our father’s age. There were other teenagers working there (our cousin, Dane, was there too) but Brianna and I were the only girls – and she was always more dedicated than me. Harley and I got the outside jobs which was sometimes sweltering but I must say probably the most fun. Let me tell you though, that old Alice Chalmers tractor scared the heck out of me. I don’t think I was the best choice for that particular job. I can tell you of at least one instance where I snagged a telephone poll and dug up the surrounding lawn by accident. That orange monster had no power steering and used to spit and sputter steam when it would get over heated (mostly because I didn’t mow often enough and the grass in some parts would get so high that it was like trying to mow a hay field – full of grasshoppers and field mice.) Bless my uncles (who are running the business nowadays) for putting up with me whenever I had problems – which was basically every day I showed up! They were probably relieved when my cousin, Jacob, took over 😉
So now I have a schedule for myself and if I deviate, I’ve got grandpa looking me in the eye (maybe even both eyes) from his photo on my desk.
Grandpa passed away nearly 10 years ago – much too, much too soon – but his legacy, his spirit, creativity, drive and ‘build it’ attitude lives on. When I look at his photo and think of him, a boy who through the great depression outsold all the newspaper distributors in town by staking his claim on 169 and Seventh, who later grew to be honored as second Small Business Man of the Year by President Carter (Jimmy kissed Grandma Audrey on the cheek by the way – he couldn’t resist that hot little lady,) I’m motivated to think I’m a part of that and I, too can do anything I set my mind to.
So…Grandpa, Boss Man — let’s do it!