Mixing days of old with ‘toys’ of today

BY BOB WACHS
Posted 12/26/18

Nobody has ever accused me of being in first place in the world of technology. Actually, I’m not much of a fan of it, except for the part that comes with medicine and doctors and such like the part that helped me out with heart surgery earlier this year.

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Mixing days of old with ‘toys’ of today

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Posted

Nobody has ever accused me of being in first place in the world of technology. Actually, I’m not much of a fan of it, except for the part that comes with medicine and doctors and such like the part that helped me out with heart surgery earlier this year.
Basically, to me, too much technology isn’t a good thing. In and of itself, it’s just a thing but it’s the hold it has on our lives that’s something to pay attention to.
Ever notice how many people walk around staring at the gizmo in their hands? Ever see a family of four at a restaurant table and instead of talking with each other they’re all tapping away? And all this doesn’t even take into consideration the opportunities for hacking and identity theft.
Consequently, I don’t tweet or twitter or twerk or tango or any of that stuff. But in the interest of full disclosure, let me talk out of both sides of my mouth and give homage to a part of it that has recently touched me deeply.
I speak here of Facebook, which I’ve been told is ancient history in the world of electronic social media and technology. My better half has Facebook account, but I don’t. I’m what’s called, I think, a troll, meaning I’ll look at stuff and occasionally add a comment to someone I know but to live on it isn’t my thing.
However, a few days ago I ran across a short video posted by a cousin about a slice of life in our ancestral stomping ground of Bynum.
Bynum today is like Bennett or Moncure or most anywhere else in Chatham County or the world. It’s changed…and is changing. As Dorothy told Toto in “The Wizard of Oz, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” All that, of course, is proof positive of the saying that “the only thing that’s constant is change.”
Anyway, this video opened with an old friend and high school buddy wearing a Santa hat and strumming his ukulele while singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” As long as I’ve known him, I didn’t know he had it in him. It was dang good.
But what really got to me were scenes from about 1970 inside the little Methodist church up on the hill above the cotton mill. As I watched video – it had to be 8-millimeter – of Santa making his way through a packed sanctuary, I thought some of the folks looked really familiar. Watching it over and over again and hitting the pause button I was sure of it.
There in the crowd were my parents, several aunts and uncles and some cousins. My dad was in his mid- to late-50s; I’m 10-plus years beyond that now. My mama and her sisters…well, it was easy to tell they’re related. And on the front row, a young cousin had her gift snatched by a friend and they both laughed.
It was only a few days later that during another trolling period, I ran across some pictures of “Christmas in the 1960s.” There, in all their radiant glory were cedar trees like the ones my dad and I cut down in the woods. Then they were decorated with big multi-colored lights. Garlands were wrapped around the tree and here and there were tinsel ice icicles. Underneath the tree were those stockings with the mesh covering that let you see the wad of candy inside.
It was a great trip down memory lane, this look at a time when I wore a younger man’s clothes. But I still don’t get all there is about technology. While, at least so far, the video is saved I’ve looked and looked for the other pictures.
Nowhere to be found. Maybe they’re living in outer space.
If so, I hope they had a good Christmas.

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