opens many doors
by Delbert Trew
the last 100 years many things have changed our lives and the way
we operate. One of the most drastic changes, especially among rural
folks, came when four-legged horsepower changed to gasoline power.
At first glance, farmers merely changed from horses to tractors and
city people changed from buggies to automobiles. A deeper study shows
the changes went much deeper and more drastic as normal occupations
and trades became obsolete and no longer needed. To survive, lifelong
tradesmen had to learn a different trade or change their often "handed-down"
For example, livery stables, harness makers and farriers were no longer
needed. Old-time horse traders and businesses selling wagons, wagon
parts and horse-drawn machinery were suddenly left with obsolete inventory
and disinterest by former customers. The changes came so suddenly
many formerly successful business men went broke before realizing
the changes were permanent.
Another example came among longtime landowners, their employees and
managers well-known for their expertise and experience. Almost overnight
they discovered their knowledge was outdated and now nearly worthless
in the new era.
It was at this time the old adage of "for every door that closes,
another opens" provided a multitude of opportunities never before
realized in history.
Each of these new mechanical wonders eventually broke down or wore
out. A door of opportunity opened for mechanics and parts services
to keep them running. The old obsolete blacksmith shops turned to
repairing and welding with parts services offered to meet the new
The new wonders did not eat oats and hay but required fuel and lubrication
instead. The door opened for fuel distributors with storage and delivery
trucks to supply the needs of owners. The local general stores installed
gas pumps and stocked everything needed to keep the machines rolling.
Small towns and formerly remote communities where a stranger was seldom
seen, were flooded with travelers, each needing fuel, food and repair.
The door opened for roadside tourist courts and cafes, replacing old
time hotels and lobby restaurants which were often located away from
the busy new highways.
realized by many, the most dramatic change came as the speed of everything
picked up. The speed of travel, information, commerce, personal needs
and life in general had to shift into a higher gear. This trend has
continued today as we constantly have to adjust to a faster world.
Communication is instant, no matter where you are located. This speeds
up commerce to a level once beyond our wildest imagination. The old
3-cent letter meandering its way for days is now replaced with instant
phone or Internet service. It is not only expected, it is taken for
granted. The good old days are gone, never to return. Those who don't
keep up will be left behind. Those who watch for the continually opening
doors will succeed. We all know this is the modern gospel but like
this column each week, can't help dreaming of a time when the pace
of life traveled at a much slower speed.
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" Column
- February 7, 2006