The universe may be expanding. China may be growing. Certainly most of our waistlines are enlarging. But there are things in America that are disappearing. It’s of course the law of life to have change, to experience loss, to watch some things going, going, gone….
At the same time, there’s something to be said for getting a grip on what’s going and gone. To try to understand what’s slipping through the our fingers. Instead of simply watching, we might wish to wonder. If we wonder just right, perhaps loss can be a lesson. A compass into tomorrow for those with no real recollections of yesterday:
* Family farms ~ Nowhere is there a finer figure than the sturdy farmer looking over his fields with his family by his side. Once a symbol of America, today it’s virtually extinct
* Players who stay with one team ~ Once upon a time, athletes came up the system and reached the pros to remain with the same team till the end. Not one athlete in a thousand today
* House calls ~ The little black bag carried in the hands of the devoted family physician up to the front door of an ailing patient. Medicine says it’s better in the hospital, so ends the career of the black bag
* Gas station attendants ~ You have to be pretty old to remember what these are. But whatever your memory may be, a memory is all that’s left in today’s hurry-up, self-serve gas stops
* The milkman ~ Another once familiar sight lumbering down the streets or alleys in his crisp white uniform to bring your daily order of milk, cream, and perhaps a dozen eggs. Not only a service, a relationship
* The dining room ~ At one time the premier room in the house where guests were feasted and friendships solidified. The times they are a’changing. Today there are fast-foods, order-ins, and restaurants
* Men’s garters and women’s corsets ~ Gone with the wind, and in this case probably a good thing
* Teen age dating ~ An ancient tribal custom resplendent with its own joys and and sorrows. Nowadays, though, far too formal when just hooking-up is the quicker less committed way
* The smell of burning leaves in the fall ~ Now for those noses that can fondly remember, this may be the most painful loss of them all
* Wedding night virgins ~ What can I say? Well, there may not be enough old men and women to recall the experience.
The 21st C — a brave new world with enthralling new opportunities lighting the horizons ahead. Onward…! But perchance an occasional glance over the shoulder.
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