Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Technology is Only a Generation Away...

This photo was taken when I was a little girl and my brother was just a baby. These are my Warren grandparents--my dad's parents--who had come up to Indiana from Tennessee to see the "new baby" and to get a dose of me (they had kept me for several years when my mother was ill in a Ft. Wayne TB hospital in the 1950s, so I was "their" baby, too.)

Now, this was big stuff. You got into this booth and a camera would take a photo. You put money into a slot and out would come a roll of small photos. You can tell we are all rather crammed into the booth, but they took home some photos and we kept some. That was big time technology back then.

Today I got photos from across the world in a matter of seconds. I can download them onto my computer, print them off or save them to a flash drive no bigger than a thumb (and is in fact called a "thumb drive.") My grandmother in this photo is now 92 and she has seen amazing jumps in technology.(Getting an indoor bathroom with toliet, indoor running water and a bath was a big deal--I remember when they put it into her house...) I was able to put together a nostalgic photo album by printing copies from my computer that I had scanned into the hard drive and take her on a trip down memory lane. (And me, too.) So, I've been thinking a lot about things used to be in comparison to how it is now.

I cannot even imagine what the technology will be when my boys are parents and I'm a grandparent--or even when they are grandparents! I remember the first time mom took moving pictures. Once she got that camera,she was always shining this bright light into our eyes (you would go temporarily blind) and all the films have people with one hand across their eyes, and the other out in front of their faces trying to get her camera out of their faces like a movie star and unwelcome papparazzi.( was just able to check the spelling of that word with the touch of a button.) They smiled, but in an annoyed kind of way. That didn't stop my mother. She loved filming family events. We laughed until we cried looking at some of those old movies.

Now my boys (from the time they were in elementary school) have all kinds of films and know more about filmmaking than the movie directors of the 1950s. They put together all kinds of productions for class projects. They put stuff up on Power Points and can do graphics that would have taken me days, or maybe weeks, to hand draw.

But I look at this photo and I remember. I remember one moment in time, one that I have kept all of these years. I still have the same sentimental feeling for these people and though one of them has died, I can keep it until the day I die, and pass it on to my family. Someday someone will say, "Now I wonder who those people were?" and will toss it into the trash. Or maybe someone will keep it as an example of antique technology of the early 1960s.

But right now I'm sharing it using technology and theoretically, anyone in the world with a computer could see it.

Remembering is a wonderful thing, and little prompts are nice to have.

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