|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on January 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM||delete edit comments (0)|
Long about 15 years ago, shortly before he died, one of my grandfather’s told me that he had grown up in a one horse town only to end up having the home he managed to make for he and his wife overwhelmed by highways and car, billboards across his backyard vineyard and jet aircraft flying overhead. He told me that he felt he had outlived the type of world he was made to live in. He was born in 1903 when the 20th century was brand new. He lived 94 years, dying in 1997 when my son was 2 years old.
My father just turned 80 years old and still gives the impression of being at home in the world. He has always been future thinking and fond of the youth. He has used email for decades but he has also gardened for food and ran a micro urban back yard farm for decades. He still gets out there and chops firewood and makes sure his wife works in the garden but he’s also regularly online.
As Kasey Kaycem used to say on the radio from 1960 to 1990 or thereabouts: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
Here we are early in the 21st century. Nowadays I would encapsulate the way that old and new are meshed locally – perhaps in Europe in general as “a brand new style of bank machine or other technology in a building more than 500 years old and still in use.” That isn’t always exactly what it is, but that is definitely the general idea.
There are way more cars than horses in this town. One day just 2 months I worked it out and made a shocking discovery: a cheap car costs less than a cheap horse. Now, everyone who owns a $30,000 car could easily keep a horse – probably even a team and a buggy to go with it, but those using the cars under $5000 as re-sold are going for something cheaper than a good horse. Startling: we rediscover the ‘machines are cheaper than real lives’ theory of use. Mainly it is striking because of how many of us have been so sold on the technology that we forgot all about those kinds of reasons.
Now that we know all that, re-interpret what I’m telling you when I say there are about 30 horses living in this town, 1200+ cars and a bunch of tractors. In fact, there is more farm equipment here than everyplace else I have lived. You can see a few old wagons sitting around and old cross beams in the barns proudly sporting years like 1874 down the street from new houses proudly sporting dates like 1994 or 2003.
The future grows out of the past. We know that, but sometimes people make too much or too little of the past – today is the future of the past and the history of the future. Have a good one.