A Bent For Building, From Father To Daughter

Dec 12, 2008

In some families, a specific talent seems to be passed down through the generations. That could be the case for Ledo Lucietto and his daughter Anne, who share a passion for mechanical engineering.

The Luciettos owned a tool and die shop in Illinois for 50 years. Ledo's father was a mechanical engineer who emigrated from Italy. Their shop was called the Byron-Lambert Co.; they made wire forms and metal stampings.

And as a little girl, Anne was a regular in that shop, asking her grandfather, Luigi, what he was doing as he made parts.

Talking about Anne's childhood recently, the pair recalled how she asked her father an important question when she was just 5 years old.

"Can a girl be an engineer?" she asked her father. His answer: There was no reason she couldn't.

"We would go to the zoo, and the zoo was not quite the thing for you," Ledo said. "You wanted to go to the Science and Industry Museum."

And at home, Anne loved to take her things apart. It was mostly her toys — until the day she took a clock apart and spread its contents out.

When her father asked what had happened, his daughter answered, "Oh, I took it apart. Daddy fix."

And as her dad put things back together, Anne would sit by, watching intently to see how things were made.

"Did you ever notice that I always followed you around the shop, watching?" Anne asked Ledo.

"I thought there was a magnet hooked up to me and to you."

"Do you realize I walk like you, too?"

"Yeah, I know," her father said as he laughed.

"Those are memories," Ledo said. "I really like every one of them. It was fun."

Ledo also has no regrets about sending his daughter to college — despite all the people who told him not to.

And now, he said, "I'm very happy."

"So you don't worry about me anymore."

"No, I do worry about you. You're my buddy."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.