JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

My great, great grandfather

This is a photograph of my great, great grandfather. I don’t know much about him. His last name was Althoff, he lived in Germany, and he was the grandfather of my grandpa, Curt Herz.

I believe I found this photo when my beloved Grandma Marta passed in 1999. I know this will sound dumb to some, but there’s something about posting his photograph here, on my blog, that gives me great satisfaction. Part of it is the time juxtaposition—this man who was likely born in the 1860s, pictured on a 2011 blog based out of New York. By a relative he’d never know. On technology he could never, ever dream of.

But there’s more. Corniness be damned, there’s something to keeping someone alive. No, ol’ Great Great Grandpa Althoff isn’t living, and he’s probably not floating on a cloud reading this. But here we are, all these years later, talking about the dude.

Ha. I just called him “Dude.”

PS: And I just made his image my Facebook profile picture. Wacky.