Seems like mental gymnastics and verbal calisthenics will be needed to explain the enclosed fifty-five dollar check. Grandpa saw a major crisis when granddaughter decided to pass up a carefree summer in favor of working to earn some money.
Reconciliation came out of accepting that work experience is a valued part of life experience, ordinarily not as enticing as a lazy summer, but nevertheless valued.
Grandpa felt a compulsion to do something to balance the tradeoff. What? Suppose we try a supplement to the wage? But it can’t be just a handout conveying the notion that there is a free lunch.
Let’s call it an object lesson underscoring the reward that comes out of commitment, application, sacrifice (all for fifty-five bucks)!!
I understand that you worked fifty-five hours last summer and this represents a supplement of one dollar per hour for each of these hours.
It really represents our immesureable love for you.
You are now an official adult! That gives you the right to vote!! We know that you are extremely intelligent, and so we are counting on you—together with others of somewhat comparable intelligence—to knock that pipsqueak named Bush right out of the ballpark.
Counting on you with love and pride,
Grandma and Grandpa
A fun fact about Rita—she used to work for Irving Kristol, a conservative journalist/columnist/magazine editor. He died in 2009, and all of the subsequent articles written about him also make mention of her.
Only slightly larger than a college dormitory room, that Public Interest office was as stuffed with manuscripts and books and magazines as it was with people maneuvering around all the obstacles, including two or three interns, a managing editor, Irving’s longtime (and universally adored) secretary Rita Lazzaro, and of course Irving himself, issuing a steady stream of wisecracks, phone calls, and dictated correspondence into the chaos.
Today she is missed.