Rushville Republican

Columns

February 9, 2013

Ward: The times they are a changin'

RUSHVILLE — I can remember a time when life was much more on the slow track and things were easily understood and done, then I got older and things got more complicated. Many of the manufacturing, accounting, banking and many other areas now have found ways to use fewer individuals and yet increase capacity and workload. The jobs of my youth are fast disappearing from the scene and new ones coming online. And online is the optimum word here. The new economic engine for the world as well as our country is electronics, a field that is fast growing and people unfriendly. Where, in my youth, you had to have many more people (not machines) to get a job done, today we are the opposite.

Instead of a person painting your new car a robot controlled by a computer does it. Instead of people making steel a majority of the work is done by computer. Where machine shops used to work diligently cutting steel and other materials today all you do is program a computer and push a button. Where you used to go to a retail clothing store and be assured you would find a person there to help you, not so today. You used to go to the grocery and have the bag boy not only sack your purchases but also take them to you car and load them for you. Doctors had office hours but also made house calls, something I don’t believe any would do today.

If you borrowed money you did so reluctantly and with extreme caution. And when you did, the paper work consisted of one page (if that) outlining the transaction and how much it will cost you and how you will pay it. Today you have what seems to be reams of paper for most all financial transactions. Dairies used to home deliver their product to you, but no more; you go to the grocery and buy it. There used to be numerous individuals, my father included, who made a living by repairing things. Today, most of the items you purchase are not made to repair but to toss away. Rushville had a shoe cobbler, small appliance repair people and, like my dad, radio and TV repair people.

You generally understood what you invested your hard-earned money into. Today, there are so many different ways to invest it is mind boggling. And many of those investments are so complicated and unnecessary that you and I cannot fathom their meaning or worth, we have to take the word of a broker. In fact, the misunderstanding of these so called instruments is what I believe caused the recent economic problems. And also, in my opinion, our government has yet to do anything to alleviate those problems, nor do they seem to care. Our lives are much more on the complicated side and much more involved. Our time is used up outside the family and that is a shame.

I remember when I graduated from college I had several oil company credit cards sent to me to use. I did not ask for them nor cared to have them but the oil company sent them anyway. They sent the card itself, not an application. To them, your graduating from college was enough to make you credit worthy. Then Master Card, Visa and Discover and others came along and where individual stores had credit cards now there were cards available to be used all over the country and world (at a cost, of course). Machinery used to be run by steam or electricity and was usually set up to run several machines off one engine. Today, most machines have their own power and usually it is electricity.

Electronics and electricity seem to me to be the engines of our economy; without either we are indeed in trouble. I remember Metzger Lumber Company and how they ran all their machines off one engine and a long belt, leather yet, that ran the length of the shop. Today, the machines that then were huge are table-sized and have their own power. In fact, many individuals at home have saws and other machines much better and smaller than those of my youth. One is always in contact via cell phone, computers and (worst of all) social networking on computers. We don’t seem to ever be by ourselves, always a phone or iPad or whatever the newest gadget is with us.

Our fire, police and emergency people have so much communication that not much gets by them. Always the patrolman or fireman or EMT is in contact with someone or something. Yes, our life has indeed become much more hectic and time consuming and geared way to much too leisure time events than in my day. I look about me at my computer, cell phone, weather monitor and police monitor and wonder just how did I ever get by without them?

Well, I did! And, I sort of miss the time and era too.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

  • Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 11, 2014

  • Mankind is not causing global warming Back on Feb. 26 of this year, an article appeared on FoxNews.com with the following headline, "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific proof humans are dominant cause of warming climate." Here's what Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and co-founder of

    April 8, 2014

  • One fine day True story here: a long time ago, a young woman from Cincinnati daydreams of growing up and meeting a nice man, getting married, learning to cook, having two children, etc. etc. Eventually, it all comes true for her. Except it all happens in a major

    April 8, 2014

  • It is time we take back our country What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    April 8, 2014

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you've nev

    April 8, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.