Monday, April 4, 2011

Part Two-Time Passes, Technology Develops, Life Goes On. Fast!

     I'm sitting at lunch today the text messages started arriving on my Iphone.  Yes, my Iphone, my first cellphone.  I laugh because for years friends, colleagues, family members would say "I can't believe that you don't have a cellphone".  I used to smile and say "no need for one".  When running this summer I had a close encounter with a "rattlesnake" on a trail.  I said to myself "what if I didn't see the snake soon enough and it bit me".  I envisioned myself lying on the trail in agony dying of a snakebite with no means of getting help in the early morning hours".  That is the moment I said "when I return home I must get a cellphone just in case of an emergency".
     Getting back to the rattlesnake. I stopped about 10 feet from it and watched it for a second or two. I had  only about a 1/4 of a mile left to get to the top of the trail.  I decided that it was prudent to go back down the trail rather than try to jump over the snake.  I envisioned my ill-fated attempt with the rattler striking me as I attempted the leap of faith.  Needless to say I thought it very important to get my first cellphone just in case I would ever meet up with a rattler again.  Funny thing when my brother returned to California this summer we went for a run on a different trail and ran into another "rattler" this one much smaller but nonetheless a rattler.
     Let me get back to the point of part two.  Technology has shaped our lives and the world at a rapid pace. However, growing up it was quite different.  Although at the time the music was changing, technology was not in the place it is today. It's crazy to think that we listened to records on a turntable, that cassette tapes had not yet been invented for that matter even eight track tapes.  Reel to reel tape players were the thing in college. They were not affordable for many though. I can remember seeing a dormitory mate with one and said to myself "I can't imagine owning that how cool it would be to be able to play so much music at once".  To think that you can put thousands of songs on the tiniest of IPOD's and MP3's today is mind boggling.
     Getting back to the good old days.  Life was simpler especially in the small town I grew up in, Colchester.  We didn't have much to do but we always were busy. The statement there's nothing to do always makes me laugh. There's plenty to do if you make it a priority to just get at it.  I delivered papers down Prospect Street, Halls Hill Road, and finished on South Main and Main Street. I believe I had 35 customers and can remember that the weekly paper cost 42 cents and the Sunday Courant was 30 cents. Most customers paid the .72 cents with a dollar.  Think about that a 28 percent tip a week.  Yes, "TC" there's my quirky math skill that I have too that you've experienced.
     What does having a paper route have anything to do with this writing?  I rode my Schwinn banana seat butterfly handled bicycle down Main Street without any cares in the world.  My cousin Pete would ride with me delivering the Norwich Bulletin.  We had a blast.  Cars would toot their horns many would yell out to us "how's your mom, your day"?  It was fun especially in the summer.  Delivering papers gave me responsibility and gave me money to save.  It was a lot different here in Colchester. There was only one stop light and that was the one that still exists in front of "Old Bacon Academy".  It was a time that we were never in the house on weekends and the summer months. It was a time that we sat and ate dinner together as a family. There were not night programs that disrupted family life.  It was time that we came together as a community. However, the world was experiencing the Vietnam conflict and the nightly news was a time that would report the daily casualties and fatalities.
     Life was not as fast paced as it is today.  However, in the moment the adults and generations that were older would say "you can't imagine what it was like when I was growing up".
     Part III tomorrow.  UConn - Butler is one. Time to watch the Huskies win!

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