A photograph tells a thousand words. This map says even more.
Picture this. It’s 1938 and an eighteen year old Iowan sits at a cafe in Florence Italy. He unfolds a city map and lays it down flat against the marble bar. He sips on a cappuccino, uncaps his felt pen, and begins plotting his three day Florentine journey. He makes a half turn on the bar stool and glances out the window, keeping tabs on his bicycle. This is my grandfather, Robert (Bob) Horace O’Meara and he’s touring Europe by bike for the summer.
Fast forward 70 years. It’s the spring of 2008 and his granddaughter (miniMo) is sitting at a Florentine cafe (perhaps the same one), studying a map of Florence, and chugging her third cappuccino trying to caffeinate her way out of jetlag. She’s just arrived from California for a ten week study abroad program.
Two experiences set apart in time, but not space.
Two maps. Two memories.
Three generations seeded from a relationship soon to form. And a city landscape left remarkably unchanged.