Got an e-mail this week that should discourage anyone who plans to live and enjoy the next few years. The writer raved on about the demise of the United States Post Office, food as we know it, land-line phones, medicine, newspapers, books, etc. It was a very logical look into the future of the world and was designed to upset and scare the pants off readers.
Sorry, Bo. I’ve lived a long time already and seen a lot of changes in this world of ours. You don’t upset me a little bit because I remember that there have been a lot of changes since I was born and they have been mostly good.
When I was born, there were no Iphones, Internet, Facebook, Twitter or Fox News. In fact, there was no television, much less phones that you could hold in your hand and talk to a soldier in Iraq! There were very few telephone lines across the country and the few lines that existed were shared by 20 or more subscribers all wanting to talk at once.
There was no radio for my family until about 1930 when the number one voices coming out of the big horn mounted on top of the set were those of Amos and Andy, a “colored” act that made us all laugh.
Sometime later we got a Philco table model radio that brought us daytime soap-operas and the Lucky Strike Hit Parade on Saturday nights after supper. We had “fireside chats” from President Franklin D. Roosevelt who told us that the only fear we had was fear itself.
Our 1930 Chrysler touring car was started when Dad or my brother braced himself against the car’s radiator and turned a crank until it “sparked.” Then we’d all drive into town and pay a nickel each to watch a silent movie on the big white canvas stretched across the front of the Palace Theater downtown.
Al Jolson stared in the first “talkie” and made the prediction…. “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” How right he was!
Our food was almost entirely grown in the garden that Mama and Daddy planted, tilled and harvested for our family. Mama washed, cut up and canned vegetables as well as fruit from the orchard. Daddy and the neighbors butchered hogs after the first cold spell in November, hung sugar-cured hams in the smoke house while the women made soap out of the hog’s fat and everybody shared fried ribs for breakfast.
There was no electricity in the country until President Roosevelt initiated a project in the ‘30s. Until that time, refrigeration was scarce. We had coal oil lamps for reading the Bible and wood and coal fires for warmth on frigid nights. When we went to bed, Mama piled on quilts that she had hand-sewn until the weight made breathing interesting. On really cold nights she heated a flat iron on the wood stove in the living room, wrapped it in a flannel towel and placed it at my feet in my bed. That was a real luxury.
Rural Free Delivery was initiated in the ‘30s and we were thrilled that the mail-carrier would come up our dirt road in his model T bringing the Sears & Roebuck catalogue a month before Christmas.
My mother never had a microwave oven but her biscuits, bacon and eggs made a breakfast to be savored.
Dad lay on the couch listening to his beloved baseball games and thought that the little table radio and later the black and white TV were great inventions.
We took week-long vacations traveling in cars with the windows half-down, wind blowing our hair and upsetting board games in the back seat. Air-conditioning was just wonderful when it came years later.
Colored television! My good Lord, could it get any better than this?
The first show we saw was “The Flintstones.” Our kids were in seventh heaven.
When I checked the Internet, the top inventions of the past 50 years included: TV remote control, microwave oven, birth-control pills, jet airliner, float glass - float glass? Well about this time they left me.
I began to list the top inventions of my time - cure for Polio, vaccination against Smallpox, radio, television, electricity for rural America, cordless phones, airline transportation, cars with self-starting engines, rockets, man on the moon, fluoride in toothpaste, computers, Iphones and hairdryers.
Who out there is worried that the steady progress of man will not continue? There have been more wonders in my lifetime than I can count and I am confident that the mind of man will continue to amaze us all with the wonderful inventions revealed to him.
There really is no end to what can develop in the future but one thought is important to remember, God is in control.