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Moseyin’ Along

From Everyday Items to Antiques

March 5, 2015
Westfield Republican

While we've been doing other things, many of the necessities of life from our not-so-distant past have been slowly slipping into the land of "antiques in the making."

Though few of us are aware of the transition, this is an ongoing process that drops the old in favor of the new, the out-dated in favor of the latest and coolest.

For instance, remember that first family TV you and I had? There was the small screen, the snowy black-and-white picture, the rabbit ears that seemed to require constant adjusting. Finally the whole family gathered to watch a picture sent into our living room from New York or Chicago or Los Angeles. It was a modern the time.

But the technology moved on, as it always does. When our next TV came along, we were suddenly able to watch the latest news in living color, broadcast from anywhere in the world.

We put the old black-and-white TV in the closet or out in the garage or out of our lives entirely. And we never looked back.

The same fate has befallen such once-familiar items as mangles, ice boxes, wringer washers, skate keys, candle snuffers, rug beaters, rotary-dial phones, slide rules, manual typewriters.the list goes on and on.

With the explosion of electronics in recent years and the increase in the speed of life today, many folks are turning their backs on some standard necessities of life that remain current parts of the American scene.

Just a look at any local telephone book will reveal how many families are opting to give up their land-line phones in favor of individual cell phones. In fact, even the local telephone book will soon become a thing of the past, since cell phones and computers can store frequently called numbers or find any needed number via the internet.

The standard telephone isn't the only basic household item that is being phased out. For example, I was recently with a group of friends at a covered-dish luncheon. One of the ladies arrived carrying a pan of fresh-baked muffins.

A member of the group said in amazement, "You actually baked those? Why, I haven't used my oven in years."

Her comment made me realize that if all those ovens are idle, there must be countless rolling pins, cookie cutters, wooden spoons, and aprons tucked away in the back of cabinets or the bottom of drawers.

Don't let me leave you with the idea that I'm wishing we could go back to the "good old days" when ringer washers and rug beaters were an every-day part of our lives. No thanks!

I'm delighted with all the free time and efficiency we've gained as progress has moved us forward.

It's just that nostalgia overtakes me from time to time, especially when I think of all of my former household partners that now dwell only in antique shops between the pump organs, tables of bone china and Edison record players.

Still, I have an easy remedy when I feel these nudges of nostalgia coming on. I simply check my crock-pot to see how supper's coming, get a cold drink from my dependable 'fridge, turn on my Bose CD player and relax in the La-Z-Boy.

The good old days may be interesting for a short visit, but I'm happy to leave the past behind and enjoy all that the present has to offer.



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