I suppose I am among the majority of Americans, and people in general, who don’t particularly like change. Not only do I not embrace it, I have been known to run away and climb a tree to get away from it. I still press on my car’s floorboard with my left foot every time I approach a car with its lights on bright.
Unfortunately, for me, I am living in the wrong era because change is all around us, all-encompassing if you will. To quote the great Al Guy of the Thomson, Ga., Guys, “Ain’t nothing forever.” Al is looking to be quite the prophet these days.
I have been accused on many occasions of trying to live as if it were still 1962. Well, things were pretty nifty in 1962 if you ask me. Let me enlighten you as to some of the advantages of living in that bygone era.
We never had to run to the store for milk. It appeared mysteriously on the front doorstep several times a week — in glass bottles, no less. None of that waxy stuff ever fell into the milk when it was delivered in glass bottles. They would bring buttermilk, too — and ice cream, if you simply filled out the little form and stuck it in the empty bottles you left on the porch for the milkman.
I learned the hard way that you shouldn’t order ice cream unless you first asked your mama an’ ‘em. You might wind up having to go and cut a switch.
Have you been meaning to take your Sunday suit to the cleaners but just can’t find the time? No problem, back in the day. Just leave your clothes on the front porch on Monday — maybe Tuesday — and Meadors’ Cleaners would pick it up, Martinize and sanitize it, and have it back on your front porch by the weekend.
You could go to the grocery store in Porterdale and buy your groceries and they would bring them right to your back door by the time you got home. Your insurance man, the paperboy and Jake Hunt, who sold furniture, would come right to your door every Saturday to collect what you owed them. No stamps to fool with and no trips to the post office.
And Dr. Mitchell would come right into your bedroom and give you a penicillin shot if you got sick, no questions asked — and no quarter given, I might add.
And once upon a time, in a land far, far away, newspapers were delivered right into the driveways and onto the front porches of good people everywhere. There were two big city newspapers in the North Georgia Piedmont. The Constitution —“The South’s Standard Newspaper” was delivered each morning. It contained the quite liberal-leaning ideas of its longtime editor, Ralph McGill. The sports editor was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known, Jesse Outlar.
Every afternoon the Atlanta Journal “covered Dixie like the dew,” which I always thought was strange because the dew was already gone by the time the Journal arrived. But we were a morning paper family, so it really didn’t matter.
Our local papers — and yours, too if you lived in Newton or Rockdale counties, came once a week, in the mail.
Times have changed. The Atlanta papers combined to become the AJC many, many years ago and most people in the North Georgia Piedmont cannot have the paper brought to their door at any time of day for any amount of money. That small circulation area continues to shrink on an almost weekly basis. Blame it on high fuel prices or general lack of dependability or the Internet or all of the above. It is what it is.
And this paper — well — as you already know if you are holding it in your hand, this paper can no longer be found in your driveway every morning, either. But neither can it be found in the ditch beside your driveway or the middle of your rose bushes. No longer are you plagued by looking for a paper that didn’t make it to its intended destination and when you leave for vacation and stop the paper, well, now the paper will actually be stopped — because we have come full circle and, just like in the beginning, the paper comes with the mail.
Honesty compels me to admit that I didn’t like the idea at first, but I am adaptable and it only took me a few days to get used to the idea. I am sure that, eventually, you will, too.
Now if we can only get them to start back putting milk on our doorstep and picking up our laundry, it will almost feel like 1962 again — except for the dimmer switches, that is.