Pop Culture

Gateway Grandma

Nanny Gosser

My grandmother, Shirley Brinkman, was awesome. She was the only 82 year old I knew who texted and embraced new technology like she was born to it. I can attribute no small amount of the outcome of my life story and interests to her. In fact, I’ve come to realize that Grandma was my pop-culture gateway drug. I thank her profoundly for the influence she had on me. It’s with nothing but love and respect that I think of the faithful, strong woman who was dedicated to bringing out the best in her family members, showing us how to do the right thing, and to think for ourselves. This entry is dedicated to her memory. The world lost her on September 8th, 2013 and I miss her terribly, but her presence is with me in so many things I do and that is a comfort.

Gateway for the Unnaturally Large Amount of Books I’ve Read?

Definitely. Grandma’s passionate love of literacy influenced me way back when I was a tot being read to from her lap. Like my grandmother I came to run a bookstore and eagerly await the new season of offerings. My love for reading, books, and my experience running a bookstore eventually led me to a dream job in publishing.

Gateway for My Blogging Gig?

Yep! Grandma was an amateur journalist, poet, and freelance writer. The woman was a veritable Hildy Johnson who never let her pen rest and encouraged others to do the same. Like my grandmother, I’ve dabbled in writing: journalism, published book reviews, and fiction.

Gateway for My Love of Star Wars and Cinema?

Yah, you betcha. Heck, I even joined the 501st Legion to support charitable causes inspired in part by her own charitable efforts. Together we devoured films across a variety of eras and genres during our night owl viewing. Grandma knew all the best stories that really reeled you in. I’ll never forget the night we watched Fargo and I expected an innocuous comedy. As I sat there horrified and disturbed during the wood chipper scene, my Grandma laughed at the dark humour of it. Like my grandmother, I appreciate a good story, performance, and talent, but have low tolerance for swill.

Gateway for My Love of Gaming and Technology?

Totally her fault. Grandma’s recreational time at the summer cottage often involved games like Sequence, Trivia Pursuit, and so many other board games. I still love board games, as well as puzzles, video games, and trivia and  I play weekly during family game night. Grandma always had the latest in technology for playing music, watching movies, reading books, you name it. It was bound to rub off. I love gadgets!

Gateway for My Love of Comics?

To my surprise, she’s here, too. Grandma kept collections of Peanuts strips in her library and I poured over them when I wasn’t reading Dickens. Hey, don’t judge me! Like my grandmother, I have eclectic tastes.


My grandmother influenced me in a number of other ways of course, such as her patient guidance in teaching me her own mother’s secret recipe rhubarb pie. There was an immense sense of pride the day she declared mine was as good as hers. I have concentrated on aspects that correspond with the goals of my blog posts, but I can attribute even more of my personality, pursuit of lifelong learning, emotional intelligence, and faith in my own abilities to her encouragement and example.

I miss you,Nanny Gosser!

Tribe collecting score: 9

  • Star Wars
  • Comics
  • 501st Legion
  • Gaming
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Writing
  • Technology
  • Reading