Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

There was a time when people would live very close to their family. In the cities when children grew up they would move a couple of blocks away from the family. In many instances a single home would have multiple generations living under the same roof. It was rare, indeed, for people to pick up and move far away from their roots. I am not saying that people did not move distances, afterall this country (amongst others) was made up of people that for one reason or another moved halfway around the world to start afresh. This Country always had a migration westward, these people were called Pioneers. Sure there were many of them but still these people were in the minority.

Cities grew, and as stated above, one might marry and move a few blocks away.

Eventually we hit the Pacific Ocean and there was no further to go. There cities and towns sprung up and again roots took place. The train was invented and now people could move from one place to another with more ease. The horseless carriage was next and now we could stay where we lived but work on the other side of town and be home in time for dinner.

And so life went on for the majority of Americans. Then along came the big Depression followed by World War 2. People moved to where the jobs were. Off the farms and into the cities. From one city to another where the great war machine kept people at work feeding the military and once again their families. Towns grew around the industrial facilities feeding this war machine.

After the war life continued to change here in the U.S.of A. Highways sprung up criss crossing the nation like veins and arteries. Thanks to the war air transport grew by leaps and bounds. Military pilots got jobs in the new and growing industry, people moving.

And so the make up of the American family continued to change. Now children would move accross the country for college, jobs, and much more. Families were spread out all over the land. Yes this was true before but not in the numbers America saw in the second half of the 20th Century.

When I was growing up in the 1960’s my parents took our family to the New York Worlds Fair. There we got to see how life was going to be in the future. General Motors showed us the highways and cars of the future. General Electric showed us life in the 1800’s right up to the 21st Century. All of this made an impression on me. Lets face it flying cars were neat. But AT&T showed us something that was really cool. The video phone.



Now they were telling us that we would that we would be able to talk with people anywhere and see them at the same time. Cool.


Well there aren’t flying cars but we do have video phones. In my case it’s called Skype. Apple calls it ‘Face Time’. I can now see my friend that I grew up with who now lives in Israel everytime we talk. My son in California, my other son’s friend that lives in Washington State (my adopted son) and the list goes on and on.


Technology is great. Why here I am sitting on a jet plane headed to visit my son, brother, and friend from college in California. This morning I woke up in Florida where I was visiting my mother for a few days to help out with some things there. Sunday night I will be back in New Jersey with my wife and Monday back at work. Wow what a week. I am doing now, what a century ago would have taken weeks, and a century before that months, and a century before that maybe a year.


I can’t wait to see where we are headed next.


Beam me up Scotty.




3 thoughts on “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

  1. The Dire Straits tune “Telegraph Road” kind tells the story. Not sure if it’s cynical. It is true though. Thing is, from a 360 degree of what sometimes I refer to as the CyberWasteland, is the ongoing dilemma of why (FGFB* – on one of my last gigs in DC, where I again had more knives in my back than I can count, I was told the “we don’t ask ‘why’ questions here (the only thing missing was “boy”)) and how these quantum leaps, always seem to have a collateral ‘down’ or dark-side. I guess we can lovingly refer to it as ‘The Cheney Paradox ™”, (no copyright, just fair use w/ no attribution), which encapsulates the concept. No need to elaborate – either you get it or you don’t.

    Benjamin Franklin said it best, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and loose both.”

    Is it all about tradeoffs? It really doesn’t have to be. Or does it?


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