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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Feb 13, 2015

I am surprised at how many things today are connected to each other.

My television is connected to my telephone line and because of that I can watch movies of my choosing anytime I want.

The television is connected to a box that brings in many programming than I can watch from a satellite in orbit many miles away in space.

That does not mean it is necessarily good programming because about one-third of it is advertising, but occasionally something shows up on the screen that is worth the hour or so of time it takes to watch it.

I have several internet radios that can be programmed from my computer allowing me to hear stations anywhere in the world.

While I am listening to a radio station hundreds or thousands of miles away, I can be getting the latest map updates on my GPS through my computer that is connected to that same phone line that is bothering me with some person telling me I need to buy a warranty for my car or better yet, listening to my wife talk to one of our children.

Then there is the phone in my pocket that seems to be connected to everything – messages, music, alerts from everybody from weather forecasters to grain marketing, it goes on and on.

At times it seems to be too much. But at the same time, I don’t want to give any of it up.

I like to remember a simpler time before we could even imagine all the conveniences we have at our fingertips and take for granted as if they have always been there.

In 1957, when I was 10, my parents took their three children, me and my two sisters, on a trip to California, driving there in our new, blue with white trim, 1957 Pontiac Chieftain.

Think about that. I did not know there was such a thing as a divided four-lane highway until we got to California. The trip was all two-lane roads until California.

The car had no air conditioning. It was a car typical of that time with an automatic transmission and AM radio that had to “warm up” before you could hear it.

It was a good car for 1957, but no comparison with what we ride in today.

My dad did get something new for the trip that was recent. It was called a credit card from Standard Oil and he used it to buy gas along the way.

Our trip was about a day or two short of three weeks and we went out on a northerly route and returned on a southerly one. We saw a lot of country on those two-lane roads.

Besides riding with the windows down, we relied on paper maps and a route that had been prepared for us by Triple A, the American Automobile Association.

By today’s standards, we were intrepid travelers venturing into unknown parts of the country with little communication, relying only on what we had which was on paper in the form of money and maps.

It was certainly a simpler time and I can appreciate that trip 58 years later as if it happened only months ago.

That does not mean I want to go back. I like riding with windows up in thermostatically controlled comfort, listening to whatever I want to from the satellite radio while getting directions from the bossy lady in my GPS.

I do miss that ’57 Pontiac though. That was quite a car.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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