Expected visitor offers unexpected commentary on a simple time

Dec. 01, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

An expected visitor at the Chimney Rock Village Council meeting Tuesday night offered wise and interesting comments before he performed his official  judicial duties of swearing-in elected officials.

Judge Randy Poole kindly asked Mayor Barbara Meliski if he could say a few things before the ceremony began.

He told the folks how much he appreciated being asked to perform the ceremony.

Congratulating the council, he said small town governments work better than Washington government. They know what the people and the town needs and "they just get it done," he said.

Poole said God, family and community is what makes America great and living here is a privilege. 

He fondly recalled the days when there was no Internet, no cell phones, iPads, iPhones or any other electronics. 

He recalled the days of living in a house where there was one telephone and the residents shared a "party line" with neighbors.

He talked about a time before satellite television where at his home there was a large antenna outdoors on a pole. To receive better reception for a particular channel a family member would run outside and turn the antenna one way or the other. 

Later on in life his family had a small antenna box that sat on top of the television inside the house.

Family members would simply turn the knob a little bit one way or another to receive the best picture.

"By doing that, we could get three channels," he elaborated.

I can see clearly the same antenna box on our television set at home and I can see that buzzing round right now.

He also talked about a time of living when boys drove their pick-up trucks to school with a deer rifle on the rack in the back window. No one thought about shooting someone.

High school kids drove the school buses to make extra money.

It seems back then no one was out to hurt another.

This wise judge delivered food for thought and many of us have been exactly where he was growing up.

He speculated, wondering, if "we weren't better off back then?"

Things have certainly changed and always will in these technology days of ours.

Some discoveries have certainly made the world a better place to live,  others not so much. 

One radio commentator suggested on Thanksgiving that no one bring a cell phone to the Thanksgiving dinner table.

No one would do that. Right?

I witnessed three people at our family table with cell phones and texting. By the way, they weren't young folks.

The days of sitting around sharing conversation should never be a thing of the past, rather the thing we look forward to when we gather together just a few times a year with all our families.

We have 24 days to redeem ourselves until the next family gathering on Christmas.

Decorating for Christmas this week I'll remember those days past when our family scrambled onto daddy's tractor and trailer for the bumpy ride to the field to cut a prickly cedar tree.

Decorations included large red, blue, green, yellow and white lights, icicles and Christmas ornaments all the one shape — round balls. 

As I decorate I'll remember those times past when we turned those lights on every night and somehow on Christmas morning they were magically switched on.

I'll also remember as I start to shop, the one or two trips to town as a kid for my parents and sisters with a couple dollars in my purse and finding the best gift imaginable.

A day when there was no Black Friday or Black Thanksgiving.

Police officers were never called to stop a fight over a thing in any store.

And I'll remember what Judge Poole said Tuesday night, "I wonder if we were better off then?"