godnix (greyfeld) wrote,

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Historickal reflecktions, ramblingly

Coming up on September 1, which would have been my father's 97th birthday; he's been gone now nearly fifteen and a half years. I got to wondering, today, what he might think of the world that now is, as compared to the way he left it.

Technology issues are a thing apart; he was born in the days of horse and buggy, and saw the advent of reliable motorcars, television, flight, space exploration, and microcomputers, not to mention more immediately practical things like the widespread adoption of indoor plumbing. Besides, he was a science fiction fan (had a Heinlein novel in his luggage, if I remember correctly, when he died). So I don't think the advances in computing, even including the internet, would have fazed him much. But because he was a printer, he'd have taken a keen interest in developments in desktop publishing, and as for online journaling? I can feel him smiling now.

He saw the world go through two great wars and a lot of smaller ones. He allowed as how he was too young to take part in the first Great War, and too old to sign up for the second one; and although he married into a family notorious for the pacifists in it, I never did learn if, given the need to make a choice, he'd have been a soldier, or a conscientious objector like two of his brothers-in-law. Far as I know he tended to vote Republican, though as a true American patriot he regarded such matters as nobody's business but his own.

He always talked about our responsibility to make the world a better place. It was certainly always dangerous enough, the last forty or so years of his life, what with the constant threat of World War III breaking out any instant. He would have been very used to talk about protecting the homeland; in his day it was all about the Russians and the Communists and long-range missiles; now it's about the Arabs and the Terrorists and WMDs. Same script, only the names have changed. He was something of an optimist though; while his children learned the locations of fallout shelters and how to cower under the furniture during those scary "tests of the Emergency Broadcast System" that kept coming over the radio, he went about his business cheerfully enough, making friends where he could find them, never afraid to talk to strangers, He enjoyed people, and liked to do little things that nobody would notice, just to make the world a better place.

Really, not that much has changed. Thanks, Dad.

Tags: journal, spirit

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