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  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Technology opens many doors

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
During 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" occupation.

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 Almost overnight they discovered their knowledge was outdated and now nearly worthless in the new era.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 needs.

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.

Not 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
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.

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