The Telescope Company

The Wise Old Man is Always a Symbol (Found on a dusty shelf in a Columbus antique store … one can find him anywhere)

Grandparents & Grandchildren (An Alchemical Solution to Modern Challenges)

John Fraim

Premise: Most modern stories use same age characters in stories for the same age audiences. This is certainly true for targeted political stories today. True change might come not from new messages in particular mediums but rather in communication between mediums. Here, a story about the conflict of two mediums of communication: the grandfather’s medium of his generation and his two grandsons’ medium of their generation. Is there a way to meld the two together? How much part do they play in the politics of today? That is, not the gulf between the wealthy and the poor but rather the gulf between the grandfathers and grandchildren in today’s world. The old and young. This is the most important gap. There is great (inherent) drama in the clash between characters in different generations rather than characters in the same generation.

The below involves major characters in a story from rather different generations … grandfathers and grandsons. It might as well also be a story between grandmothers and grandaughters. The story suggests that through an inter-generational dialogue today’s problems might truly be worked out. It is not a battle between Democrats and Republicans. Rather, it is really a battle between the young and the old generations of America. Yes, a grandfather’s generation and now a grandson’s generation. Why is this not stressed as a relevant way for millions to see and perhaps understand this? It’s certainly not stressed by the government that has a vested interest in an individual’s not connecting with his or her past. The grandfather in the story represents the past so the past has a strong symbolic representative in the story. The grandsons of course are the other symbolic forces in the story.


Character Studies: (A drama featuring a clash of generations)

The Young Strategist (Mid-30s … Millennial Generation)

Grandson (daughter?) of an old company founder. He was a brilliant marketing strategist who was more comfortable looking at the cold figures involved in marketing strategies than the people in them. For him, the subjectivity of people only confused the objective beauty of numbers. It was for his clients – political and corporate candidates, even leaders of nation states and countries – for them, to mingle with people and kiss babies and eat rubber chicken at barbeques in Iowa. He was always the person behind the reason that the politician was at a particular place at a particular time. It was all based on his strategy and his numbers.

He understood the patterns of numbers, the right alogorithms, of the times. Knew that there were so many new ways of connecting people up such as matches of social media communication. There were so many new ways to connect people to create entirely new political parties through the power of modern demographic target marketing, messaging and branding. For instance, creating a new political party based around sharing similar Apps on a smartphone. When the story starts he is working on a new app whereby one can analyze apps on other phones as well as all information on the iphone and create a spectrum of friends from this information. Within the spectrum of the individual are those with similar social media profiles as well as match ups in apps and music and photos. Word search on Google should also provide a particular index to use in conjunction with the above. At least this was what he had been working on for a few years. He had spent three years at Google somewhere along his career path.

This particular grandson of the old man was very successful in the outside world before ever joining the family business. Now, he was VP of marketing at the telescope company as well as running a successful marketing strategy company on the side. He had already established the marketing strategy company before joining his grandfather and father’s business. He had been expected to join it right out of college, but he had gone on to get a JD and MBA degree and start his own company. In those years after his degrees, before he joined the family firm, he got a reputation as a top political and product strategist. It took a lot to persuade him to come aboard to the family company. The old man takes some credit for this. But, there is another incident involved here it is probably best to discuss later.


The Young Salesman (Mid-30s … Millennial Generation)

Grandson (daughter?) of an old company founder. A few years younger than his brother above. The almost appointed “golden one” of the family. He had always had things so easy. Was such a good-looking person. His looks alone could sell one almost anything. Right out of the Ivy League college he graduated from – unlike his older brother – he joined the sales ranks of the company telescope firm.

More than any of the other fifteen other grandchildren in the family, he somehow knew about that fire that inspired his grandfather. It was one of the connections that hardly anyone knows something about. It was there, though. The fire of a salesman selling something he believed in. There was no more powerful fire in life than this. Nothing more beautiful to watch than some relative being consumed within a the perspective (medium) of a new understanding of a past relative.


The Old Company Founder (Early 90s … Mature/Silent Generation … 1927-1945)

The founder of the great manufacturer of telescopes was an old man in his early 90s. The company had been founded at a time with totally different values and perspectives of today. It was part of the great power of the company that the old man was still strong and breathed the values of his time into those of today. The old man was a vestige of a past period of life.

If the presence of the old man was part of the power of the company, his presence also contributed to the problems and challenges of the company. For instance, the old man had gone through some religious conversion and wrote about it in the book he personally published. One part of this conversion was that he had a passionate belief in giving the ordinary citizen the greatest power to see into outer space. He wasn’t the greatest creator of modern professional telescopes. All of these were associated with the universities.

No, his goal was to give the greatest power to look into the heavens to the common consumer out there. Someone not associated with some university or government group. Some of his largest telescopes even approached some of those in universities.

There are some articles on the Internet that say this is where the old man’s mind is these days – in outer space and not on planet earth. Few have seen him in public so most things about him are little more than speculation, rumors or fake news.

The old man’s ideas are powerful but difficult to communicate to modern customers. It is run by the old man and his two grandsons at the time of the story. The father of the boys is no longer involved in the business, so the two grandsons deal directly with their grandfather in running the telescope company.

They are from two very different generations – a few generations wedged between their world views – it is almost impossible for them to know the vision their grandfather saw when he founded the family company and had once seen for the company. And in the increasing haze invading his mind, it is difficult for the old man to know the thoughts and ideas of his grandsons.

One of these grandsons is a business and political strategist. In the mid-30s … a half century away from the old man’s generation. If only there could be some connection to the “central mindset” of this generation, across all of the generational sea, the old man thought to himself. But in the end, his grandson into figures was more aliento him than an alien from outer space.

When he was in the firm he joined his brother the star salesman in the company. The two had always gotten along pretty well but there was always a lingering, hazy, sense of jealousy for his younger brother having everything so easy. It hung over his life, thick, like summer fog in Carmel. Something to be explored later. But there was that excitment of joining a family business and helpibng it grow. There is nothing quit like this in the world. Perpetuating something a past relative founded.


But bringing up past images was a difficult magic trick in a modern world that did everything it could to wipe these past images. In this world, memory often didn’t go much past a few minutes. It wasn’t that the young had such limited idea of the past. It was rather that they had no idea of the past. Like fake news was the current news of the nation, there was such a thing as the counterpart of fake news … fake education. That is a stream of fake news over the early decades of a child’s life. It was a re-education that attempted to rewrite a new history of the nation. A history based on present facts,  not historical facts.

(Planning of the story moves forward)



Generations in Conflict / A Solution From Our Greatest Conflicting Generations?

A Solution to Todays Problems Mights Best Be Forged Between Grandparents and Grandchildren



  • Born 1927- 1945.
  • Went through their formative years during an era of suffocating conformity, but also during the postwar happiness: Peace! Jobs! Suburbs! Television! Rock ‘n Roll! Cars! Playboy Magazine!
  • Korean and Vietnam War generation.
  • The First Hopeful Drumbeats of Civil Rights!
  • Pre-feminism women; women stayed home generally to raise children, if they worked it was only certain jobs like teacher, nurse or secretary.
  • Men pledged loyalty to the corporation, once you got a job, you generally kept it for life.
  • The richest, most free-spending retirees in history.
  • Marriage is for life, divorce and having children out of wedlock were not accepted.
  • In grade school, the gravest teacher complaints were about passing notes and chewing gum in class.
  • They are avid readers, especially newspapers.
  • “Retirement” means to sit in a rocking chair and live your final days in peace.
  • The Big-Band/Swing music generation.
  • Strong sense of trans-generational common values and near-absolute truths.
  • Disciplined, self-sacrificing, & cautious.

Generation Y/Millennium.

  • Born between 1981 – 2000.
  • Aka “The 9/11 Generation” “Echo Boomers” America’s next great generation brings a sharp departure from Generation X.
  • They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused.
  • Respect authority.
  • Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place.
  • They schedule everything.
  • They feel enormous academic pressure.
  • They feel like a generation and have great expectations for themselves.
  • Prefer digital literacy as they grew up in a digital environment. Have never known a world without computers! They get all their information and most of their socialization from the Internet.
  • Prefer to work in teams.
  • With unlimited access to information tend to be assertive with strong views.
  • Envision the world as a 24/7 place; want fast and immediate processing.
  • They have been told over and over again that they are special, and they expect the world to treat them that way.
  • They do not live to work, they prefer a more relaxed work environment with a lot of hand holding and accolades.

2 thoughts on “The Telescope Company

  1. I was born within the first group 1927-1945, and I believe it is exactly how it was back then.
    Those were times when most girls were respected, because they acted in ways that earned them
    respect. Families ate together, and went to church on Sundays. Stores were not open on Sunday.
    Each morning in school, we said allegiance to the flag with our hand on our heart, also we said
    The Lord’s Prayer. Too bad schools do not do that anymore. I believe the way you act,
    your beliefs, conduct and attitude that make you who you are come from many different sources,
    yes, your parents, grandparents, teachers, books, school teachers, professors, friends, news media…
    In the years I grew up, your parents didn’t ask you if you wanted to do a chore, they told you to do it,
    you knew that when they said no, that is what they meant. You knew if you got in trouble at school, you
    would be punished more so at home. You respected your teachers, your parents, your country. We
    felt it was a very big treat to go to a movie theater , and until I grew up we did not eat out. No fast
    food restaurants either. The news was shown on the screen before the feature started, and it was
    patriotic during WWII. You never heard people run down America, some of the movie stars enlisted
    to fight our enemy. You thought our country was the best in the world. Nowadays, there are so many
    in this country who seek to destroy our values . Women want equality, but don’t act like ladies anymore,
    or at least many of them. I liked it when a man opened a door for me, …I think it was nicer then.
    Perhaps I was naive , but we didn’t have people running around using foul language or hurting people
    just because we didn’t agree with them. We didn’t have the news media lying to us about the truth,
    nor mayors breaking the law of our country and getting away with it. If you don’t have any punishment
    for people who do wrong, I believe soon things get out of control. We have lost gracious living, and
    what I want to ask, are we happier now then those people were as they grew up? Loved your analogy
    between grandfather and the grandsons….so true…

  2. John,
    The Telescope Company, can be a scenario from almost any combined generations, and certainly applies to our current generation of fifty to ninety year olds to the Millennials of today, speaking to several generations across many social, economic and political back grounds.
    The ‘old and the young’, span countless stories, but The Telescope Company is unique in that it deals with a niche market merchandise, a past generation, which founded it and its principles, compared to the grandson’s generation and principles, while the middle generation not involved, and especially the vast difference in communication mediums, styles and tolerances of all three.
    The times and culture of the grandfather era, even though he may be seen as to be “in space”, he has had the guts, constitution, and intelligence to establish, grow and pass down a company in such a niche market with the “Big Universities” looming overhead.
    The consecutive generation of the grandfather’s son which has left the company for whatever reason, probably for personality differences, work practices, or ideals, regardless he went onto other pastures where he is probably an employee somewhere, whereas both his sons, the grandsons of the owner have eventually joined the business.
    This ‘son’ generation was the ‘bridge’ between the previous and current ones in so many nurturing ways, as well as the main communicative link.
    Having firsthand experience in such a similar situation where the grandfather started the successful business, while the children came into it to please their parents, but deep down hated the business, but remained for the hefty incomes, all the while being negative and toxic management to the rest of the company. Finally, the grandchildren having failed at everything else moved into the ‘family’ business only to constantly complain against their grandfather.
    The grandfather with his ‘brick and mortar’ ways of doing things, accepting criticism, being strong, and rolling up his sleeves to get the job done, versus his grandchildren’s ways of dictating responsibilities all the while texting and using apps. to gather information.
    This is a very concerning and serious cultural phenomenon, because as the current population gets older, it is the Millennial generation that will be looking after them, dealing with them, helping them and caring for them. So, if the communicative link between both these generations is weak or becomes more nonexistent, there will surely be a break down in all endeavours and both generations will feel the fall out. The one generation relying mainly on the spoken word to exist, while the upcoming relying less on the spoken word and more on the text word and abbreviation even of that.
    This is not that new, but it is happening again now, and it could bring a whole new form of communication into play that transcends previous spoken words and text words, possibly images?
    A generic nonlinear system of communications between generations, worlds, cultures and species may not be too far off, again harking that “Star Trek” isn’t that far off, or as ‘science fiction’ after all.
    Darryl Audette

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