Before there were apps, there was Aunt Ruth
If you wanted to know the conversion of 1 cup to its metric system equivalent, you could call Aunt Ruth, and she would go to her desk drawer, retrieve her Conversion Chart, and tell you, “It’s 230 milliliters.”
If you wanted to know what “earned surplus” meant, Aunt Ruth would say that it is “also known as income retained in the business. The amount retained from year to year depends on both net income and dividend payments.” She handled her family’s bookkeeping and investments, worked during the war as an accountant for the Navy, and because she wanted fast facts at her fingertips, she kept a copy of How to Understand Financial Statements in her desk drawer.
She had a United States map with time zones and area codes, Webster’s Thumb Indexed Dictionary, a pamphlet on treating the 15 most common household stains, and another that outlined the Kiddush service for Sabbath.
Aunt Ruth was smart and savvy. As times changed, her pamphlets and charts did too. She had data for everything before we knew we needed it. She was remarkable.
She was fascinated by technology and learning and quite proud that she owned the very first generation of Kindle, and on hers was Thomas Friedman’s, Hot, Flat, Crowded : Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America along with other selections ranging from current fiction to biographies.
Aunt Ruth never stopped wanting to know, and one of her many lessons to me was to keep an insatiable Appetite for knowledge.
I wish there was an App for that!