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About the GFA Webmaster PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Sunday, 17 April 2011 15:21

Meet Larry Grinnell, GFA Webmaster and Secretary

Favorite Quotes (overheard on the internet):

  • If Windows NT is the solution, you don't understand the problem.
  • Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines.
  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather...Not screaming in terror like his passengers.
  • I've never been drunk, but often I've been overserved--George Gobel
  • 640K is enough memory for anyone--Bill Gates, 1981
  • A gentleman is defined as someone who knows how to play the banjo but doesn't--Anonymous

Lawrence J. Grinnell email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Work Experience: I am employed by SRT Group, in Davie, FL, as a senior technical writer. Previously, I worked for Motorola Inc. for 27 years, in various capacities from manufacturing engineering to technical writing to publishing technologist. For more information about my work history, please see my personal website or my page at LinkedIn.

Personal Interests and Accomplishments: My personal interests include: jazz guitar (trying to learn to play my grandmother's factory custom 1934 Gibson L-7) and other record collecting, genealogy, computers (I own several computers, including an Apple 27-inch iMac (with Intel Core i7 processor), a Core i5 Mac mini operating as a media server, an Apple MacBook, and a Lenovo laptop running Windows XP Pro), audio equipment, amateur radio (callsign WD5EZY), old (antique and special interest) cars, and home video.

I currently serve as vice-president, secretary, and webmaster (among other duties) of the Grinnell Family Association of America, a family genealogical society, and previously served as their president, from late 1997 to July, 2001. I re-assumed the presidency of the GFA in November, 2001, after the tragic death of their newly-elected president. I finally handed off the presidency in 2005. I serve on the genealogical committee. I was newsletter editor for the GFA from 1988-1993, and again in 1999 for two issues. I serve on the newsletter committee as the pre-press "officer", responsible for ensuring the GFA newsletter computer files are complete and ready for printing. I edited and published the 680 page second edition of the "official" Grinnell Family Genealogy, as published by the Grinnell Family Association, in July, 1997. I have been slated to edit and publish the next edition of the Grinnell genealogy, about 2600 pages, due sometime in 2016.

I wrote and co-wrote (with my late uncle, who was a "vintage guitarist" himself) occasional articles for 20th Century Guitar (now defunct) and Vintage Guitar magazines. When my uncle (guitarist and clinician Andy Nelson) died in 1995, I was devastated. He was just about the best friend I ever had. As my own way of dealing with his loss, I wrote a short book on his life in music around Christmas, 1996, marking the first anniversary of his death. I had it printed and distributed it to many of his best friends as well as members of his large family. That book can be freely downloaded from this site. It is stored in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, which requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view and print the file.

In past years, I have served on the board of directors of the now defunct Palm Beach Macintosh User Group, and was a regular contributor to their newsletter with the monthly column "TidBytes". I served in a similar capacity with the Palm Beach Macintosh User Group's successor, the Palm Beach Phoenix Apple User Group, until 2015. I also served on the board of directors of the Electronic Design Association's (local computer special interest group, focusing on graphic design and printing technologies), and served as their webmaster until the group disbanded in 2001. I contributed items to their newsletter on desktop publishing and computer technology issues, and served as webmaster for the South Florida Chapter of the Society for Technical Communications until it was disbanded.

I'm a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, the American Radio Relay League, the American Legion, the Palm Beach County Genealogical Society, Smithsonian Associates, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Currently, I also contribute blogs and product reviews to the website. Most recently I have begun writing a weekly Macintosh column for the Palm Beach website. I was selected for inclusion in Marquis' Who's Who in the South and Southwest (1997-98 Edition), Who's Who in the World (1998, 1999 editions), and Marquis' Who's Who in Media and Communications (1998-1999 edition).

I have had the great privilege of travelling throughout much of the world, thanks to the United States Air Force, and later, my employer Motorola. These include Norway, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Zaïre, Egypt, Singapore, England, Ireland, and Scotland (this doesn't even count places where I was only on the ground for a few hours for refueling, etc.).

Fun Stuff:

Back in 1978, I was in the US Air Force on temporary assignment to Davis-Monthan AFB, in Tucson, Arizona. As a jazz guitar nut even then, I was thrilled beyond words to discover that famed guitarist Johnny Smith would be hosting a Gibson-sponsored clinic at a local music store. I took one picture of Johnny when playing (trying to keep my loud, clunky Canon SLR camera quiet), that, years later, appeared in the New York Times with Smith's obituary. I took another few of him after the clinic, surrounded by admirers. One of those admirers noticed I had taken a shot of him standing next to Johnny and asked me for a copy of the shot. I agreed but only if he would take one of me with Johnny. Here's the part I'm not exactly proud of: the picture was taken, but without Johnny's approval or acknowledgement. I was just standing there looking at him, as he was busy talking to a bunch of other folks, and I didn't want to interrupt... My boorish behavior probably reinforced why he wanted no part of me or my family (my uncle, the late Andy Nelson, as a Gibson salesman and clinician, knew Johnny very well and was strongly influenced by Johnny's playing style--Andy was also a very brash, in-your-face kind of a person, as a salesman would be, which probably made Smith somewhat cold to Andy--understandable, as Johnny was a very quiet, introverted gentleman who was probably uncomfortable around Andy's bigger-than-life persona). This is why I have not shown these pictures before now. Johnny, if you ever read this, my deepest apologies for my poor behavior--I really was brought up better than that! Anyhow, here are the pictures.

Here's the card I sent out at Christmas, 1995 to friends and family. I had spent a few weeks in Singapore on business and had these photos taken at the world-famous Singapore Zoo.

I got to meet and chat with legendary guitar player Les Paul in the summer of 1996 at the Iridium Bar on New York City's west side. Here's the picture: (l to r: my cousin Ken Nickels, Les Paul, Larry Grinnell)! In January 2008, I attended the Macworld Expo in San Francisco and met Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw, with whom I stood in line back in 1996, waiting to speak to Les, maybe 5 minutes before this picture was taken.

I had two cats, both since passed (each at the ripe old age of 17). For reasons I still can't fathom, I decided to name them after my paternal grandparents, hence the names Archie and Agnes. Note that both are female. I'm sure the cats didn't mind.

In May, 2001, after five months of training, and suffering through seven grueling written examinations, I achieved my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification. Several weeks prior to taking the final test, I stopped by my local CompUSA and found a most interesting hat, which I vowed to wear to the office when I finally passed the test. Here's the picture of me wearing my "special" hat (this photo is also used for my monthly column that appears in the Palm Beach Macintosh User Group newsletter). Unfortunately, my employer at the time chose not to take advantage of my special (and expensive!) skills and training, and my certification lapsed when the next big version of Windows (Windows XP) came on the scene.

While attending the 2001 Grinnell Family Reunion in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had a close encounter with a lion cub at the MGM Grand Hotel. This photo appeared in my 2001 Christmas card. One of my old friends captioned it "Feline Proctologist." Well, I have new friends, now....

I attended the Macworld Expo in San Francisco in January 2008, and got a chance to meet comedian Sinbad, who was kind, gracious, and patient enough to permit his picture to be taken with me, along with a number of folks from the crew. A real gentleman.

When pregnant with Larry, his mother was frightened by Gloria Swanson...

Photo taken by Chuck Grinnell at the 1997 Grinnell Family Association Reunion in Kissimmee, Florida.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 April 2016 15:20