Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Opinion

February 24, 2014

News didn’t always move as quickly as it does today

GLASGOW — Early one morning this past week I was awakened by a death message by telephone. A loved one had been found in her chair by the first person to wake and go looking in the kitchen for her. A relative several miles away, upon hearing, called me. One might say that today news moves quickly by telephone. But more so by other means. I remember, upon asking my class to define the ways we communicate, a little smart-aleck called out “telephone, telegraph and tell-awoman.”

In that long-ago, at least two of these methods were not perfected, and while the radio (no TV) was still a battery-run method, it was far from being perfected, especially in rural areas. Our telephone was dialed with a crank. We were on a party line and often it was necessary to wait until others finished, what we impatiently called gossips. As I sat homebound by my recently acquired infirmities the mail came breaking into my reveries. One letter was from Colorado. I had lost track of a friend of my past, and here was a letter telling me that two days before, she had learned of my being inducted into the Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame. How did she get that news so quickly?

A morning ritual for her was to get the Glasgow news on her computer and “first check the obituaries and then look for the news action.” She immediately checked her telephone directory and I wasn’t there. She didn’t think to look for Earl. So she went looking for a special card for congratulations and after writing on every empty space she had no address. Back to the directory she found the name of W.E. Walbert and at last got a card in the mail.

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