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Time marches on

One sure sign of approaching old age or advancing old age is the speed at which time passes.
It seems like ages ago that the world of people was rushing to get everything ready for Christmas 2007.
Well, here it is up into the month of December a year later, and the world is once again rushing around, counting the days until Christmas, 2008.
We’ve been hearing songs of the season now for almost a month, and before we know it, the magic day will be upon us.
While time speeds on past, I am taking the opportunity to reflect on the fullness of my life in the twentieth century.
People who were born in the nineteen twenties and thirties have witnessed progress that far exceeds all of the inventions and discoveries of mankind of all of the eons of the past.
Being well past eighty years old, I take pride in the fact that I lived in the time of Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Harvey Firestone, and Henry Ford.
It is exciting to realize that one lived in the same time period as Babe Ruth, George L. Cohan, Jack Dempsey, Dr. Jonas Salk, Mean Joe Green, John Glenn and Michael Jordan.
These same people watched air transportation grow from a small, single engine airplane to non-stop flights across the Atlantic in 1927, to space travel before the end of the century.
And from slide rule computations to super fast and accurate electronic computers, and from a system of narrow, dusty public roads, to eight lane super highways of today.
And finally “Smart Roads.”In 1908, Bones Livery Stables of Pulaski advertised their recent receipt of a carload of Babcock buggies.
The same day, the same newspaper carried the story of a Pennsylvania doctor who had declared that he was convinced that the common field buttercup was the cause of many cases of measles., and he also said that the little flower was the cause of cancer.
We’ve lived to see those buggies replaced by Model-T and Model A Ford cars., and then the big modern cars of today.
A cure for most cancers is yet to come, but I think the cause is not buttercups.
Every generation of people have had those who were certain that everything under the sun has at last been invented.
I was one of them; then along come electric tooth brushes, laser surgery, , paper clips, zippers, tape recorders, micro-wave ovens, toasters, snapcaps, disposable diapers, pacemakers, heart transplants, waterbeds, fax. machines, and the list goes onI have seen the development of the telephone grow from “Number Please” to direct dialing anywhere..
And the birth of television, and its development from a snowy black and white picture to clear colored pictures on a giant-sized screen or tube .to show programs to millions of viewers all over the world..
And if we are too busy to watch, we can take it down on a VCR and watch it later. In the twentieth century, we saw such diseases as tuberculosis, plague, yellow fever, polio, and others practically eliminated.
Surely all the frontiers have been conquered. There is no more wild west, and very little of Alaska is left for the adventurous man.
Now we are looking to conquering outer space. I’ve been saying all of the different things I have witnessed, but I am really speaking for all octogenarians.
We’ve seen a lot while reaching old age.
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

Time marches on

One sure sign of approaching old age or advancing old age is the speed at which time passes.
It seems like ages ago that the world of people was rushing to get everything ready for Christmas 2007.
Well, here it is up into the month of December a year later, and the world is once again rushing around, counting the days until Christmas, 2008.
We’ve been hearing songs of the season now for almost a month, and before we know it, the magic day will be upon us.
While time speeds on past, I am taking the opportunity to reflect on the fullness of my life in the twentieth century.
People who were born in the nineteen twenties and thirties have witnessed progress that far exceeds all of the inventions and discoveries of mankind of all of the eons of the past.
Being well past eighty years old, I take pride in the fact that I lived in the time of Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Harvey Firestone, and Henry Ford.
It is exciting to realize that one lived in the same time period as Babe Ruth, George L. Cohan, Jack Dempsey, Dr. Jonas Salk, Mean Joe Green, John Glenn and Michael Jordan.
These same people watched air transportation grow from a small, single engine airplane to non-stop flights across the Atlantic in 1927, to space travel before the end of the century.
And from slide rule computations to super fast and accurate electronic computers, and from a system of narrow, dusty public roads, to eight lane super highways of today.
And finally “Smart Roads.”In 1908, Bones Livery Stables of Pulaski advertised their recent receipt of a carload of Babcock buggies.
The same day, the same newspaper carried the story of a Pennsylvania doctor who had declared that he was convinced that the common field buttercup was the cause of many cases of measles., and he also said that the little flower was the cause of cancer.
We’ve lived to see those buggies replaced by Model-T and Model A Ford cars., and then the big modern cars of today.
A cure for most cancers is yet to come, but I think the cause is not buttercups.
Every generation of people have had those who were certain that everything under the sun has at last been invented.
I was one of them; then along come electric tooth brushes, laser surgery, , paper clips, zippers, tape recorders, micro-wave ovens, toasters, snapcaps, disposable diapers, pacemakers, heart transplants, waterbeds, fax. machines, and the list goes onI have seen the development of the telephone grow from “Number Please” to direct dialing anywhere..
And the birth of television, and its development from a snowy black and white picture to clear colored pictures on a giant-sized screen or tube .to show programs to millions of viewers all over the world..
And if we are too busy to watch, we can take it down on a VCR and watch it later. In the twentieth century, we saw such diseases as tuberculosis, plague, yellow fever, polio, and others practically eliminated.
Surely all the frontiers have been conquered. There is no more wild west, and very little of Alaska is left for the adventurous man.
Now we are looking to conquering outer space. I’ve been saying all of the different things I have witnessed, but I am really speaking for all octogenarians.
We’ve seen a lot while reaching old age.
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.