Denny-A Unique Voice

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Autographed Playboy Bunny photo that hung at Denny’s optometry office
both photos courtesy of Denny Granata

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Another autographed Bunny photo that hung in Denny’s office

Writing By Natasha Majewski

The autographed photographs of Playboy Bunnies with 1970s haircuts and eyeglasses that he used as a marketing technique still decorate Denny Granata’s wall at home, and he laughs when recounting an eye chart hung in his office that read Too Much Sex Makes Your Eyes Go Screwy.

“I always said, what that sign says is the truth,” says Denny laughing.  “First of all, too much sex will make your eyes go screwy.  And secondly, there’s no such thing as too much sex.”

When asked about this aspect of his father, Marc grins and laughs.

“That’s classic for my dad,” says Marc.  “That’s par for the course.”

Denny’s sense of humor still reigns as one of his most noted qualities.  Every week he tells a new joke at his Rotary Club meeting and his comments at the UNR Wolfpack games he has attended for the past 25 years are just as wild and profane as everyone else in the room—just told in a slightly different way.

“He’s got this machine that he can communicate with, and he’s so observant and such a fan of Nevada football,” says John Morrey, owner of the stadium skybox where Denny has watched most home games for the past four seasons.  “He will text us with his machine, giving his input of how the team is playing.  It’s just amazing.”

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Denny communicating with his iPad

Denny still speaks, although his voice often strains and garbles.

“I know very well that people do not understand me when I talk, but that does not bother me one bit,” says Denny.

When speaking becomes too difficult, Denny communicates with his Text Telephone (TTY), allowing him to send texts to phones.  He also uses his Dinawrite, a laptop-like machine with a screen that shows Denny’s typed messages or reads them in a robotic voice.  These assistive technologies have been given to him by the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities. Denny has used his Dinawrite to communicate for five years although in the past seven months, he has been making a transition to his new iPad. For Denny, the speaking mechanism is too quiet and after the iPad recently fell recently, it is malfunctioning, preventing access to stored information.

Denny almost always types with proper grammar and punctuation.  Even though this takes him longer (ranging from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the length of his thought), he wants to represent himself intelligibly.  His detailed descriptions also relay his humor and attentiveness.

“His observations are just hilarious,” says John.  “He throws some really juicy words in there, drops a few f-bombs sometimes, it’s just hilarious. He’s got such a personality.  It’s hard, I guess, to sound emotions in a machine, but you can just feel how he’s feeling.”