Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Beginning and Ending

A new century is about dawn in Bama.....something that one could never imagine....is about to be forced to occur.

Roughly eighty to a hundred years ago....some kind folks came through Bama communities and tossing poles into the ground....running cables across the landscape.  The rough-looking characters running the operation....put in a simple way....phone service was coming.  You could sit in your kitchen there in some rural paradise....surrounded by pines and corn....and chat with some guy in California.

You naturally asked why you'd need to talk to a guy in California, and the conversation kinda stopped right there.

Weeks, months and years went by.  After a while, you found a reason to call the clerk down at the county seat to ask stupid questions about some registration issue.  You called your son who was in the Army and stationed in Texas.  You called up some fancy-pants farm implement guy in Wisconsin who had a special hale-bailer part that no one else had and would FEDEX to you overnight for $144.

That pole and cable assembly kinda made sense.

Later you hooked up to the internet....chatting with some Thai lady over poetic phases, honky tonk experiences, and possible marriage.  You got into debates with Scottish gentlemen in Barrhead over the Old Testament, Moses and lack of clarity in Revelations.  Then you found EBAY and bought up forty thousand dollars worth of Amish-made wood-working tools from a guy living in Charleston, South Carolina.

This past month....AT&T arrived in Carbon Hill, Alabama....with a wicked grin.  They want to cut the cable.  They have put money, resources, and sweat into this big idea.....wireless connectivity being the only possible source of your connections.  No land-line.  No posts marking the landscape.  No alternate possibilities.

Yeah, it was a shocker.  And the locals didn't like it one bit.

They were kinda testy back eighty years ago when the posts got driven into the ground to deliver this mess.....then they got used to it.  Now taking it away?  No, that ain't right.

If I'd been AT&T.....I would have come into each house and business and installed the wireless unit.....just saying it was an enhancement.  Months would pass, and when everyone was not looking....I would hauled in forty guys with trucks....and removed every cable and post around the area.  A week or so would have passed, and some guy would have noted that those forty posts along highway sixty-two were gone.  Folks would have talked for months over this, and finally, I'd admit that we cleaned up the landscape a good bit, and left it like God intended.  Yeah, that would have drawn a conversation or two....but got accepted.

Over the next hundred years.....poles and cables will be removed.  Somewhere between 2100 and 2150....I doubt if a single pole operation with cable exists in America.  Quietly, they came in the beginning.....and quietly they came in the end.  Remarkably, it happens in Bama....of all places.