Realizing how far our society has advanced technologically in the past 50 years, I sometimes wonder just what the next decade will bring in that regard. The contrast between today and my childhood is so great it’s like comparing fried Spam to filet mignon.
Just recently I watched my beloved Atlanta Falcons play the New Orleans Saints on my iPhone. Special circumstances caused me to resort to that venue of telecommunications, and though it was a bit awkward, it was functional. The Falcons won. And the next day, I found out that they won on big TV as well. On my iPhone, it didn’t look as if they had to run all that far to get a first down.
It wasn’t that long ago that I marveled at the fact that I could lay down my fishing pole for a few seconds, call home, and find out the Braves score. Now I can actually watch the game out on the lake if I want to.
I recall when Dick Tracy could make calls on his wrist watch. That was science fiction. But now it’s old hat. Someone once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
I don’t think that’s totally correct, but it’s hand grenade close.
I was in the third grade when we got our first television set. It was a black and white Bendix cabinet model. We could depend on two channels most days. On a clear day with the wind out of the west, and if there were no geese migrating at the time, we could pick up a third channel. And wouldn’t you know it, that was the channel that had professional wrestling on it. It was like someone decided that my life would be made better, but some of the spice would be withheld just to keep me dreaming.
In those days, of course, in my small mind, I thought professional wrestling was real and that Oral Roberts could heal an amputee.
But as technical and as advanced as we may get, I’ve noticed that some things tend to come full circle. In those days, we got our water supply from a big windmill. It still stands just as tall and proud as it ever did down at the old home place. And with a little adjustment, it would still bring water to the surface.
I was away in college when my dad switched the farm over to a deep well electric pump. About that same time, he had a telephone installed. Since we didn’t grow cotton, I guess you could say we were “hoeing bumper peanuts” when all of that happened. We had moved forward!
And now, wind power is getting a lot of attention again. Wind farms are popping up around the country to produce electricity. We never hooked a generator to our windmill, but I guess we could have.
Also, some people today tend to build rustic homes with tin roofs. I think they call it retrofitting. When I was a kid, we didn’t know our house was rustic. And I later learned that linoleum was floor covering and not insulation.
Watching the Falcons on my iPhone was one of those hallmark moments — you know, significant things that happen in your life that you measure and gauge other stuff by — moments like your first date, your first car, your first kidney stone, etc.
The picture on my iPhone was in high definition so it was really clear, though really small. When the game was over, I had a crink in my neck. I propped up on some pillows and propped the iPhone on my stomach. There it was, the great “wasteland” on the great “waistband.” Add a cold beer and I think there’s a country song in there somewhere.
Yep, we’ve come a long way baby! We’ve got four television sets at our house with 95 channels. And there are days when you can actually find something worth watching.
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer.