Monday, March 12, 2007

A century later ...

family, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

This is the bunch of us -- artists, administrators, academics, actors, bankers, barristers, brewers, entrepreneurs, computer geeks, dancers, professionals, parents, ponderers and poets.

All of this from a Bell Labs inventor, who was honored Saturday for turning 100, and a school teacher, whom he married 72 years ago.

Although the event -- a party with dozens of family members from across the country -- offered a glimpse into his life, and a newspaper article in the Concord Journal offered more fascinating facts, it was clear that Great Grandfather's life that was nothing short of charmed:
"After graduating from Kansas State University, (Ralph) Miller went to work of Bell Telephone Laboratories. Just before the beginning of WWII, Miller's company was called upon to tighten up security withing in the overseas communication systems.

By extending the bandwith and creating secure connections, Miller was part of the revolution of high-speed digital transmission. Much of Miller's work for the Bell Telephone Laboratories was kept in secret governmental files until the 1970s.

In the end Miller invented five of the the 30 patents held in secrecy by the United States' government.

Relatives and friends offered even more insight into the man who, with his wife, Peggy, raised three children in the New Jersey suburbs. They spoke not only about his professional achievements but also about the personal inventiveness and generosity that has made him such a beloved member of the community and endeared him to generations.

All and all, an inspirational life. And something else that didn't occur to me until after we'd gathered our families and headed back to the places we were staying: All of a sudden the "generation gap" that seems insurmountable evaporated. After the littlest children were tucked into bed, the grandchildren gathered around the livingroom for nightcaps and late-night snacks. We shared experiences, we listened to each other's thoughts and lives; and though only part of what was said that night directly related to Ralph and Peggy, it all seemed connected. It all became evident where these people came from and where there were going. And for an evening, all of life's little mysteries made perfect sense.


xdm said...

As my mother would say, "Jayze! Yar a good lookin' lot, ya ahr!"

Gail said...

Rarely do group photos turn out this well!

Well done Ralph and Peggy!

ECR said...

That's some family. Happy hundredth to your great grandfather!

Redneck Mommy said...

I can only hope that one day that will be my husband and I, surrounded by our family and being able to marvel at all that our love helped to create.

Congratulations to your family. You are very blessed indeed.