NASA, and all of America, recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of man first landing on the moon. I now realize that I was witness to one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of civilization, but at the time, I barely paid any attention to the event. I had just turned seventeen and purchased my first car – I had other voyages on my mind.
On the other hand, my parents would not quit talking about the moon landing, even though they had differing opinions. Dad, always the skeptic on anything new, stated something to the effect, “People will believe anything. Heck, those TV pictures may have been taken on a Hollywood movie set for all we know.”
I can vividly remember, however, my mother’s exact words, “In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined I’d hear the words, ‘Man has landed on the moon’.” Unlike my father, she believed it had happened, but was still amazed that those words were uttered in her lifetime.
My parents, indeed, witnessed the most transformative century of human-kind in their eighty-plus years, but even at my tender age of sixty-seven, I feel like anyone speaking some of the words and sentences spoken today, would have been labeled “crazy” back in 1969. We’ve quickly learned to adapt to new technology and phraseology and often forget how much change we have seen, but, if you will, try to think what you would have thought, fifty years ago, if you heard someone say the following things (all of which I’ve heard in the past few weeks):
“Sorry I didn’t get back to you, but I must have left my phone in the car and didn’t get your message until today.”
Or, how about:
“I apologize for not being able to check you out, sir, but our computer network is down and we have no way of scanning your purchase.” Can anyone still operate a pencil and piece of paper?
“Dad, could you stop up here and let me run in and buy a bottle of water?” There are two things that are free in life – air and water – and I’ll be danged if I’ll ever pay for either.
“Jerry, we just drove by a Starbucks and I wanted coffee, could you stop at the next one a block ahead and let me get one. They’re only $4.95.” $4.95 for a cup of coffee?
What would you have thought in 1969 if someone told you:
“I could only get 200 acres of corn planted today because the GPS system in the tractor lost communication with the satellites for a few hours.”
“I don’t need to see a bull before I buy it, because all I need are his BW EPD, WW EPD and $Beef index numbers.”
And on the medical front:
“I take Ambien to go to sleep, five-hour energy drinks to wake me up, and for everything else…Viagra.”
Jerry Crownover is a farmer and former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University. He is a native of Baxter County, Arkansas, and an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’