Progress. It’s here to stay; technology races further ahead than most of us can imagine. How to stay at the cutting edge, how to know what’s next. Should we get the smaller “Tablet,” the thinner “Laptop?” One of my first newspaper articles in the 80s came about because I was tending a wood stove while Bob was carting his first “At-Home” computer up the stairs to his office. The juxtaposition of these two events piqued my funny bone. Bob likes to tell the story of the man who sold buggy whips.
He made the best, most beautiful buggy whips around. Just the right length, real leather, with handles that were oh, so ergonomically correct. The problem was it was 1896 and Henry Ford had built his first Quadricycle. You can see what’s coming, right? “And as the Quadricycle began to attract public attention, investors were intrigued. With the backing and influence of the mayor of Detroit, Henry Ford incorporated his first automobile company, the Detroit Automobile Company, in 1899. It had a short life, but Henry Ford’s career as an automaker had begun.” Who wants to be the buggy whip guy at the dawn of the automobile age?
Warning – Bob stop reading now! I just heard about a book I think I’ll be stuffing in Bob’s Hanukka stocking. “The Disappearance of Darkness” by Robert Burley http://darkness.robertburley.com is about the end of the analog photography era. When we were first married, Bob always longed for a dark room in any house we looked at. It didn’t have to be much, maybe a closet, a place where my amateur photographer could develop his film. It seems truly amazing that in the last 7 years Eastman Kodak has gone from being a top Fortune 500 company to a buggy whip. Steve Jobs was the Ford of our day.
Video stores and record stores are closing, maybe even bookstores? When you can make a memory book of photos for a Great Grandma, then type a little more and have my holiday cards done sealed and delivered (thank you Shutterfly); if our music can come from a cloud, what’s next?