My grandfather, Bunny Meyer, ran a Chicago tannery called Gutmann Leather. When I was a child, it was a source of both terror and pride.
The tannery was full of frightening, evil-smelling machines and chemicals. It had also been in the family since 1885. Bunny took pride in providing high-quality leather and high-paying, stable employment. My father and his siblings were proud, too, but when he died in 2002, none of them wanted to run Gutmann. The tannery — like most in the United States — shut down.