Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The World We Live In

Each generation sees changes in the way we live. During our own lifetime we have seen man land on the moon, the de-segregation of public schools, the anti-war movement during the 1960s and the impeachment of a president. Think about the changes earlier generations have seen. For example, our grandparents saw the advent of the telephone, automobile and travel by airplane.

The following article, which appeared in the Henderson Gleaner and Journal on Sunday, 14 April 1929, is how the world looked at that time.

"The world moves. The George Delker wagon and buggy company at Henderson has closed doors and will be sold in the near future. Sixty-three years ago the concern was established and within a few years was known all over Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. It made buggies and wagons that served well and lasted.

But the wagon and buggy business is on its last wheels, so to speak. The wagon and buggy gave us only poor roads and it took a great deal of time to travel via a horse-drawn vehicle between Henderson and Evansville. Nowadays an auto makes the trip easily within an hour's time.

There are those of us who miss the old-fashioned buggy ride when the chap with a green derby and a rubber-tired spring buggy was the Beau Brummel of the town and the envy of all the other young men who treated their sweethearts to long walks along lover's lane in lieu of vehicular transportation. But the buggy is a memory along with peg top trousers, the watering trough, the cigar store Indian, the village smithy and the tandem bicycle. The horse-drawn vehicle played its part in the settlement of the country as prairie schooner after prairie schooner wended its way across the continent, as Virginian and Kentuckian forded the river and came to Indiana and Illinois.

It was the symbol of another era, the pioneer era, even as the auto is the symbol of the present age."

Another article in the same issue of the newspaper says:
"Today the world is literally at our doors. A spin of a dial, and we listen to the President in Washington, or a football game in San Francisco. From our talking machines the greatest of operatic stars sing to us, the foremost dance orchestras play lively syncopation of our choosing. Our automobiles stand ready to whisk us over smooth boulevards to new scenes. Monday is no long blue; the family washing is done by electricity; so too is the cooking, and the preserving of food, and the sweeping of floors. Yes, the world we live in has changed ... changed marvelously for the better."

If they only knew.

Look how far we have come since 1929. What would our grandparents have thought if they heard us talking about cyberspace, instant messaging or computers?

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