By LEON YOUNGBLOOD
Twenty-odd years ago, a niece was offered a job in Fort Worth, a rustic little city down in Texas that had not quite caught up with the times. She had an aunt and uncle (my wife and me) who lived in Fort Worth; the logical thing was for her and the fellow she would eventually marry to visit, and check things out. Her aunt worked for the City of Fort Worth and knew the D/FW metroplex up and down, inside and out, had friends and associates in high places, and was qualified in every way to give her the pros and cons of moving down south from Minnesota. Her uncle knew things about stuff, and while he was more an ass than an asset, he was included on the arranged tour because, after all, he was a relative,
They visited in August. You never—never—have visitors in Texas in August and expect to make a good presentation on the merits of the state, for it is too hot and dry to form an objective impression. The aunt and faithful uncle took their niece and future nephew-in-law to the famous Fort Worth Stockyards to look at cows and have barbeque. The cows were longhorns, and it is inappropriate to call them “cows” because they were cows of the male persuasion, and the word is a popular, though inaccurate, generalization. They were paraded down the main street for a block or so, and if the small herd could have been multiplied by several hundreds, and the pavement turned back into mud and manure, one would have a scene from the heyday of the cattle industry.
The performance over, we went to eat some of the longhorns’ kin. The restaurant was frontier themed, large, crowded, and had pretty good ‘que. Outside, a staged gunfight occurred between quarreling cowboys; while in the kitchen, a fight occurred between a disgruntled employee and his coworkers. We did not actually see either fight, but we could hear them. On the positive side, lunch was not disrupted in the least.
Eventually, the typical “What next?” situation came up. As the kids were intelligent and had varied interests, I suggested going to a certain used-book store. Little did I know, I insulted them.
“What for?” the future nephew-in-law asked.
“Uh—to look for books,” I offered.
“Why? When you can read anything online, why waste time at a bookstore? Uncle, are you still banging rocks together to make stone tools? Evolve, man!”
The sad thing was, the boy was serious. He was what I believe is called a “technocrat.” It had to happen. Remember, this was over 20 years ago; but inevitably, the future becomes the present and some of us find ourselves left behind. I still am trying to figure out my cell phone. I write and store my columns on my laptop computer, and hunt up information online, but utilize only the smallest fraction of its capabilities. While I do infest Facebook, I do not “You Tube” or “Twitter,” and in fact am not sure how. I am not proud of this ocean of technological ignorance, but I’m not particularly bothered by it.
Now, however, our beloved Heavener Ledger is no longer available in hard copy, i.e., on paper! What is the world coming to? Well—the world is coming to the second quarter of the 21st century. As for myself, I think I had better climb aboard.
It will take some getting used to, but the essential Heavener and LeFlore County news is still there. Readers will recognize names, places and events, and the format retains the “hometown” quality it has always had. I’m going to let the Ledger be my incentive to learn technological computer stuff, and I’m going to pay the reasonable price for my subscription, too. I want the Heavener Ledger to report the local news right through the dying embers of the Apocalypse!
And I hope that won’t be for a long time. Thanks for reading!
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