Sunday, January 30, 2005

Hello, out there

At the corner of the next block the man had a FM receiver. You knew the house because it was the one with the large antenna array on the roof. This was absolutely amazing to a five year old whose family used a large oak telephone on the wall next to the door in his grandparents bedroom. I never knew at that time about FM but I did know you couldn't call anyone after nine PM unless it was an emergency because it would wake the operator.

The young boy who went for field peas at a vinery manned by German prisoners of war could not even imagine the world the future of his life would bring. Not only FM, but in my cars, not car but cars, not only a phone but one I could carry in my pocket and make calls anytime even after nine PM and anywhere (well almost, but more on that at a later time). A computer in my dining room! And all these things because a fella, Max Plank wondered why his hot stove did not cause a chain reaction and thus fathered quantum mechanics.

Of all the ages since that first human made his appearance in Africa some fifty thousand years ago, this in which I have lived is the one in which I would have chosen to live. If for no other reason than if it were not for the discovery of penicillin, an experimental drug at the time, I would not have survived. But beyond that we have gone from that small Indiana town with about a hundred souls if you counted the livestock to a community where we can litteraly reach the stars. Now if we wonder, like Max, and imagine, like Albert (Einstein) our horizons truly become limitless.

This life of ours is full of as Bob Ross used to say "happy little accidents". You remember Bob. He was that TV artist who, even if you didn't paint, you watched just because his voice was so soothing and his critters so cute. Oh yes, we, like Bob, have a plan but it's these "happy little accidents" that spur the imagination and the curiosity to keep us growing. We suddenly discover that other path, that other idea, that other whatever. It's like the guy that was looking for something else and discovered Post-Its.

So you ask what do happy accidents have to do with growing up in the age of technology? Well, it's what planning to suprise my wife with a visit to a Bed and Breakfast in south west Virginia has to do with you reading this Blog. But that, of course is another story.