free html hit counter Happy Birthday, Pop - John Battelle's Search Blog

Happy Birthday, Pop

By - May 14, 2008

Dad 74Th

My father, Richard Battelle, turned 74 today. Happy Birthday, Pop!

I don’t blog about family much, and today I realized, as I snapped this rather out of focus shot on my phone, that perhaps I should from time to time. If I truly believe in this whole Database of Intentions and search thing, I realize that this site, which is pretty much my main outpost on the web, should memorialize folks like my Dad. Up until this post, he didn’t show up in Google. Life is precious, and he deserves an entry or two in the Grand Index. From my book:

What does it mean, I wondered, to become immortal through

words pressed in clay—or, as was the case here, through words

formed in bits and transferred over the Web? Is that not what every

person longs for—what Odysseus chose over Kalypso’s nameless immortality—

to die, but to be known forever? And does not search offer

the same immortal imprint: is not existing forever in the indexes

of Google and others the modern-day equivalent of carving our stories

into stone? For anyone who has ever written his own name into

a search box and anxiously awaited the results, I believe the answer

is yes.

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5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Pop

  1. What a wonderfully warm post !

    Where can one get your book ? Is that it on the sidebar?

    ~ Alex

  2. Tom Nocera says:

    John, you have given your father much more immortality than Google can promise. Richard’s DNA continues to flow forward through you and your children into the future. At the same time, your honoring him and sharing him for posterity here in cyberspace, is precious.

  3. Phil says:

    John, I read your blog through my reader & this post was a morsel of bliss that I didn’t expect.

    I miss my father; he would have celebrated his 85th birthday this month. He loved Homer, so your book-quote was a warm touchstone for me. May your father enjoy his B-day; I’m sure he’s a lucky man.

    Again, thanks!

  4. What a nice post! It’s a reminder to us all to let those special people in our lives know it. Thanks, John.

  5. Vic Kley says:

    Great! So he’s 77. I really liked your father but we fell out of touch after our interlude of non-invasive glucose.

    How is he doing?