ChangesTheBook Chapter 21

Someone had just figured out that you could lay a cable completely across the Atlantic ocean, and make phone calls so here was our Father, in Libya, calling on a phone to us in SC. It took us going to a special station, waiting an hour or so for the team to get it going. Finally, there it was, not very clear, at all, but our father, talking with us from thousands of miles away, across an ocean.

He would say a sentence or two, then over, and we would wait for his voice to transmit across the water, and then we would talk, and say over. No telling what that must have cost. It still took about ten days for a letter to get to us, and maybe a month for a package. They all went on the ocean going vessels. No way did they use airplanes. It cost four cents to mail a letter and 7 for airmail. You could choose the method and then they would put a cool stamp with an airplane on it, and then rubber stamp the envelope as airmail.

I mean, who could imagine a few short years later, you could make unlimited calls using a cell phone to another person using a cell phone both in a car, and on the other side of the earth. Clear as day, like they were sitting next to you. That has gotten much better and cheaper, but somehow the US Mail system has not. Probably the only reason it is as good as it is was due to Fred Smith getting a C in his business class. Resulted in him proving his professor wrong and starting Fed X. Same day package and delivery service, without much of a line, actually picked up and delivered to a place.

US Mail; you still have to go somewhere, wait in line, be treated terribly and when the package comes to the poor sap on the other end, he gets a note in a mailbox a half mile from his home, telling him to wait a day or two, to come in and wait in another line, prove his blood type and identity.   And maybe after all this, get his package and deliver it to his home himself. Today, you need a second car if you use the us mail service.

Back then, there were actually well dressed, polite mail carriers that you knew and who weren’t former criminals, walking your neighborhood dragging a little trolley and going to everyone’s front door with whatever they had coming.

It was dreadful though, because living at a distance from our relatives, we were required to hand write a letter, complete with comments about yourself, ask questions, stuff an envelope, and mail the letter. Weeks later you would get a reply, without any idea what questions you had asked that were now being answered. Thank goodness for instant messenger. Too old fashioned? Yeah, what about the new text message, using totally abbreviated new language.


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