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Front Page » August 5, 2014 » Opinion » First memories of some common things
Published 45 days ago

First memories of some common things


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

There are things that many people remember about their past particularly the first time they did or experienced something.

Things like the first day of school, a first kiss or the first time they drove a car by themselves.

Actually my first kiss and my first day of school came on the same day. I was a kindergartener at Liberty School in Murray, and I was standing in a line and the girl in front of me turned around and kissed me. I won't mention her name, because she may not remember it, but I do. Looking at my five year old school photos I was a cute little boy then. Unfortunately things in the looks department have certainly changed over the years.

Some of the memories I have of my first experiences include dealing with new technology. You know things that are common place now.

I remember my first wife and I went out and bought a microwave, because everyone was buying one. We were young and poor so we bought a cheap one (only $400 at the time for a machine that would not do what one you can buy for $69 will do today). For our first project we reheated some soup she had made the day before. It only took about a minute to get it hot compared to the five to 10 minutes it would have taken if we had stuck it on s stove burner. Problem was it was also spread all over the inside of the microwave. We didn't know you needed to cover the dish it was in.

Another memory is the use of the first cell phone I had ever encountered. Actually I had a friend who had a radio phone in his truck back in the 1970's, but that worked different than a real cell phones do today. Anyway the actual cell phone was in my friends Monte Carlo. He was a sales representative for a company his dad owned and he had a car phone installed. I think it was about 1985. We were driving east on I-80 in Salt Lake and he said "Do you want to call your wife?"

I picked it up and looked at it. It hadn't been that long since buttons replaced dials on phones, and that phone was hard to figure out.

"Here I will dial it for you," he said. I gave him the number as he punched in what seemed to be 10 times more digits than I gave him as he drove down the freeway with one hand and the car flying at 75 miles per hour towards Parley's Canyon.

He handed it to me. It was attached to a stretch cord on his cars consol, and it felt like a brick, which is what these kinds of phones are referred to as these days. It rang. My wife answered from her desk at work.

"Guess where I am talking to you from!" I said excitedly.

"You didn't run off to Australia like you were talking about did you?" she asked.

"No," I said. "I am talking to you from John's car. I mean we are driving down the freeway and I am talking to you, from right here in the passengers seat."

"Did you remember to take out the garbage cans this morning?" she asked.,

Obviously she didn't share my glee about being able to talk to anyone from anywhere.

"Yes I did," I answered obediently. "But don't you get it I am on the phone in a car going 75 miles per hour while I am talking to you."

"Tell John to slow down," she said. "That is way over the speed limit."

"The point is that I am on a cellular phone, you know like the ones we have seen on television news reports," I said in exasperation. "Don't you think that is cool."

There was a little silence.

"How much is this costing him?" she asked. "I read that sometimes the charge is $5 per minute. Don't you rack up a big phone charges just to be Mr. Cool."

I gave up.

"Okay I just thought it would be neat to call you on a phone from a car..."

"I have to go honey, see you tonight," she said quickly and hung up.

I was dismayed.

"What did she say?" asked John.

"She wasn't impressed," I said.

He laughed.

"You just wait," he said. "Soon these phones will be a third that size and everyone will have one. People will be walking around talking to each other all over the place. It could replace human face to face conversation. I don't know if that will be a very good thing though."

Judging by the way he was driving when he was dialing it, I could see the accident rate going sky high as well.

But then I thought, why worry. It will never happen.

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