It’s official, I’ve lost all my grandparents. In this photo you’ll see my Grandpa Tony who passed away way back in 1982 (the greatest grandfather of them all) and my Grandma Dorothy, who I just lost this week. She was 93, tough old bird.

My grandparents on my dad’s side were sort of opposites of the ones on my mother’s side. The other grandpa was mean and cranky, and aloof. My grandmother on this side of the family was more of a classic fastidious caregiver grandma who eventually devolved into dementia in her old age. This Grandma, Dorothy, was the country club golfer, socialite, card player, well-to-do grandparent. Her and grandpa Tony survived the Great Depression, later started a sporting goods store, and thrived on it. Treating customers generously and as friends, far from what we usually see today in the cold corporate culture.

Companies could do well to model themselves after such a business owner: help out your customer base as much as possible, help them out as kids so they become lifelong customers. It’s too bad that the ma and pa shop is basically no more. But who knows, maybe it’ll come back some day.