Saturday, July 19, 2008


This article was written in September of 1997
We old-timers like to boast about all the changes we've seen. And in my seventy-plus years there have been a-plenty. From gravel roads and Model T Fords we've gone to interstate highways and gas-guzzling monsters. Then back to compact and sub-compact cars, and now the large, bulky models are beginning to sell again. We've seen gasoline and diesel tractors, small at first and now the $100,000-plus models, replace horses on the farms. Large threshing machines powered by giant wood-burning steam powered engines were replaced by 40 and 60 inch-wide tractor-drawn combines, which were in time replaced by self-propelled models that cost almost the price of a small farm. The airplane has gone from being just a novelty to the major means of long distance travel. And humans have traveled in space, lived in space, and walked around on the moon.

Television and the Internet can now keep us informed about everything and anything that tweaks our interest. They can tell us about almost anything that happens in the universe, as soon as it happens, sometimes even before. Some change has been for the good, some not. Improvements and discoveries in the health care field insure us of a lot longer life expectancy, provided we are not wasted at a young age in a drive-by shooting.

People have changed. They are no longer as dependent on each other, on family, friends, or on neighborhood. Many values have changed. A few of us still remember a well-respected doctor over at the county seat who was sentenced to a long stretch in the state penitentiary for performing an abortion.

Some changes don't require a century or a millennium. Several years ago, when a new casino boat opened its doors (or whatever it is that a boat opens to admit passengers), a commonly heard remark was, "These corn fed girls sure don't do much for those cocktail waitress costumes." After time for a more thorough study, the general consensus among local self-proclaimed experts was that there was indeed nothing wrong with the dimensions of the lovely young ladies, but that the problem was with the packaging. New Vegas-type costumes soon remedied the problem. Now the girls in the showroom have made another change. They wear black T-shirts and have snappy red suspenders to support their short skirts. They smile and move nimbly around the crowded tables, doing a great job, and are apparently comfortable in the new tops. And perhaps even a bit less susceptible to the common cold.

So the years still go by and time moves on. And brings with it changes. Some good, some bad. Some happy, some sad. But how dull life would be without change!


A good old friend once grinned at me;
He said, "As near as I can see,
We old-timers can get too set in our ways.
It's time we come out of our shell
Forget our old-school Show-and-Tell,
And upgrade our thinking to new, modern days."

Whether or not my friend was right,
There's no need to argue or fight,
And I half-assume he maybe was correct.
This world is no longer the same,
We find new rules for every game,
And quite often we don't know what to expect.

We stood and watched as our world changed,
Familiar things got rearranged;
Sometimes now we don't quite know which way to turn.
Should we hang on to what we know,
Or turn our backs and just let go,
Keep our values or just let old bridges burn?

We were no Einstein types in school,
But no one called either a fool,
Teachers shook our hands when finally we were through,
But today's standards we can't meet,
Truths we were taught are obsolete;
Things we learned "for Gospel fact" now just ain't true.

Today's world beckons, "Come and see
This New Age of technology.
Those ancient horse-and-buggy things all have to go!
Follow my new siren cry,
Forget those old times long-gone-by!"
But when it comes to faith and morals..., I don't know.