The Last Generation Before Technology
My grandpa is probably THE smartest man I know personally yet he doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer. WHAT?! Everyone knows how to do that?! RIGHT?! He has never owned a cell phone (Can you believe THAT?!); however, he can tell you in detail how it all works. Let me tell you a little bit about my last visit with my grandpa.
My grandparents are getting ready for a move so my sister and I went down to Georgia to visit with them and join in on the house hunting. I had my three-year-old with me as well as 3 of my sister’s children ranging in ages from 4 to 16 years old. My aunt and her teenage son had come to visit.
One of the nights, all but the teenagers were asleep. My grandpa is a night owl like myself. The boys were outside hanging out and it gave me time to talk… just me and grandpa. That has happened very few times in my life considering I have lived 800 miles away for a good while! I love getting to sit with him and just chat.
A Little Bit About Grandpa
My grandpa, a retired engineer for Motorola also owned his own business out of his basement. He has always been a hard working man and so incredibly knowledgeable. If he wasn’t down in the basement working, he could be found sitting at the table reading the newspaper or in his recliner working on a sudoku or crossword puzzle. Anything to learn more and challenge his brain.
I spent some time that evening telling him about my new blog which sparked a great conversation. He began to tell me how while he was in the army back in the 50’s, the first computer was being used by the military. He said back then, he could have never imagined that there would be the technology there is today.
The ENIAC, made in 1946 was primarily used by the US Army to calculate artillery firing tables. My grandpa said it took up an entire large room. He also told me that it was run with huge vacuum tubes which would typically burn out before they would get just ONE calculation done. At one point, my grandpa’s general had asked him what he felt needed to be done to improve the ENIAC. My grandpa’s response was “throw it out!”. He felt it was a waste of money when he could often calculate what they needed to know without it (and the hassle it created). He said little did he know that one day, there would be computers that would work so quick and hold so much information.
After talking about the ENIAC, he shared with me that the phone is amazing to him. One of his friends invented the very first “bag phone”. When my aunt went off to college, she had one of the very first “cell” phones which were HUGE! I can remember it! H was amazed at how not only cell phones are so small but are also a computer as well. He went on and on about how much technology has changed over time. Watching the 3 and 4-year-old know how to play games on a tablet was just a hoot for him. I loved listening to stories of the way things use to be.
The Last Generation to See Days Without Modern Technology
I am so thankful for technology, or I wouldn’t have a blog! As much as I love technology, I do look at that last generation before technology came into play and am a little jealous. Life was spent chatting with friends and families without interruptions, imaginations ran wild, and things just seemed simple (other than the harder physical labor). I had fun introducing grandpa to Photo Booth on my MacBook!
If you have a grandparent or someone you know in their 80’s or above, take some time and ask them stories about when they were younger! It is pretty neat to hear about what life was like. I sure hope I have many more conversations with this amazing man! I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!