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February 15, 2014

The good old days ...

MERIDIAN — By Ron Wood

Remember when a handshake was the only contract you needed? In the good old days, a man’s word was his bond. Nowadays a contract is only as good as the next lawyer.

    In the good old days, my mother had to walk up hill in the cold rain to her one-room school carrying a bucket with her biscuit and syrup for lunch, and it was up hill both ways. I never could figure that out.

    Do you miss the good old days? The good old days were when children were respectful, women were polite, men were manly, and horses or trains were the only type of transportation. In those fine days, John Wayne epitomized courage and America was great. Come to think of it, America has gone down hill since John Wayne died.

    In the good old days, you had to use a pen and paper to take notes in school … no iPads or laptops. You had to memorize the multiplication tables because no one had a calculator. Remember slide rules? I still have mine from high school.         Bibles allowed in school? Yes – laying out on the desktop of my teacher. In one class, all of us students were required to memorize the 100th Psalm. Didn’t hurt us a bit. None of us grew up warped due to prayers over the PA, the verses read from the Bible, or the strong discipline imposed by the principal for students using filthy language.

    But those good old days did have unpleasant things about them. Number one on my list: no air conditioning! I don’t want to go back to hot, humid, sweaty nights when you can’t sleep for the steamy air. No sir, I love air conditioning.  

    In fact, I like a whole lot of things about our modern era. I like radio, TV, modern Bible translations, and jet planes. I like modern doctors, safer foods, cell phones, and automobiles.

    In case you were Rip Van Winkle and haven’t noticed the passage of time, here’s how you can know that you are living in 2014:

    1. You accidentally enter your PIN number on the microwave.

    2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

    3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

    4. You email the person who works at the desk next to you.

    5. Your reason for not staying in touch is that they don't have an email address.

    6. From your driveway, you use your cell phone to call inside the house to get help carrying in the groceries.

    7. Every commercial on television has a website at the bottom of the screen.

    8. Leaving the house without your cell phone is a cause for panic.

    10. You get up in the morning and go on-line before making coffee.

    11. You’ve started tilting your head sideways to smile -  :)

    12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

    13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

    14. You are too busy to notice there was no number 9 on this list.

    15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a number 9 on this list.

    Ha! You couldn’t scroll back up because this is a printed article, not an email!

Ron Wood is a minister, writer, and radio show host. He lives in Arkansas with his wife, surrounded by six thoroughly modern grandchildren.

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