From The Little Big Horn To Project Gemini
I don't think that's the way it was. Yes, they had phones - but they weren't in everyone's home - and electric lights - again not everywhere. The railroad did remain the wonder of the age though, and even beyond (well into the 1950's people were taking the train to Fenway Park to watch Tom Yawkey's boys.)
But this was still the Age of the Horse. An era that (if my high school history continues to hold true) began around 2500 BCE, with a people called the Mitanni and ended perhaps in the mid 1920's (in some places later) with a people called Ford (as in Henry.)
My grandfather, Adelbert (Del) Ephraim Bass, was born in 1874 and died in 1963. He was an adult in a world that depended on the horse for its most basic transportation, as it had for over 4000 years. He had worked with horses, for a man named Ballou in 1904, who was a farmer and a horse dealer. His father, Thomas, a Civil War Veteran, had been a coachman and later in life what was called an hostler (groom.) I knew nothing of these details until very recently.
But I knew of a story that my father often told and had long wondered if it was true or a family myth :
My grandfather, working as a teamster, was returning to the barn toward evening. As he entered the building he saw a man viciously beating a horse with a hammer. Del, without a word, went over to the guy and kicked the living you-know-what out of him. My father, who was a tough but not a violent man, related that story with pride.
To me, my grandfather was this very old, small fellow, balding, wearing thick glasses and holding up his pants (too high) with suspenders. I couldn't imagine him as a tough guy.... but my father knew better. Now I know better.
My grandfather was born before the Battle of the Little Big Horn and he died after President Kennedy was assassinated and less then six (6) years before we landed on the moon.
He saw more than four millennia of human experience and expectations vanish right in front of him by the time he was fifty. He entered a new age of the automobile, of radio, then television and eventually the exploration of space.
Quite a thing.
It was all just beginning..........
I can recall when we didn't have a television, as well as the first tv show we ever watched ("I Remember Mama.")
Like my grandfather, I grew up completely without the centerpiece of a new age -- in my case, the personal computer (this thing here in front of me.) To be honest, I hate them and need them. Too bad ... And too late.
A ancient Roman or Greek didn't live much differently than someone from the 18th, 19th Centuries...or even part of the 20th. Sulla or Socrates could have easily shared common experiences with a John Locke, or a Thomas Jefferson, with an Abraham Lincoln or my grandfather (or Yours .... though most of you will have to add the word 'great'.)
It's different now.
The human experience has changed . . . . . is changing.
For those of you who are young, there's something coming that will turn your world around. It's inevitable.
Isn't it ?