In recognition of my grandfather’s 111th birthday this month…
What is it like being the granddaughter of Dr. Bronner? When I was a kid, it was all I knew. By the time I turned five, Dr. Bronner was my only living grandparent, so I had no point of comparison. I didn’t think anything unusual of the fact that he was blind and spoke in Moral ABC’s and called at 6 am to request that we recite #13.
Even now, I don’t have a ready description. Thoughts crowd my head – his mannerisms and philosophies, his family tragedies, his relationship with my dad, his relationship with me, the company then, the company now, day-to-day life vs. the global vision of saving Spaceship Earth. He was eccentric, visionary, exceedingly brave, boundary-pushing, tenacious, charming, baffling, and more than a little overwhelming. And he absolutely did not understand the meaning of the word “can’t.”
In this vignette, filmmaker Nate Hochstetler compiled what I didn’t even know I articulated to him. Nate reached out to us with the idea for this mini-documentary because he knew the Dr. Bronner’s brand, and in his words, “wanted to support individuals and companies who are doing good in the world.” Nate loves what he does and created this gorgeous piece at no charge.
Thank you, Nate. This is a gift to me, as well as to the many people who have known my grandfather, whether in person, through his label, or through his inimitable soap.
Nate is a documentary producer interested telling the stories of people who push their hearts and their creativity to the limit. He is the co-founder of Bloc Films, a documentary production company based in New York.