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Never Say Never Regarding Technology Changes

Monday 22 January 2018 at 6:50 pm.

This article by Ray Spitzenberger first appeared in IMAGES for January 18, 2018, East Bernard Express, East Bernard, Texas.

When I was in the third grade in 1941, my teacher told us that someday there would be a small square on our radio which would allow announcers to “show’ the news as well as tell it. Many of my classmates believed her, but I thought she was pulling our leg. Her prediction did come true, but in the 1950’s, when television did come about, my family continued to listen to the radio, waiting years before succumbing to the greater benefits of owning a TV set.

            When, as an adult in the 1970’s, I saw a computer demonstrated for the first time at a teachers’ conference, I had difficulty believing such things were possible, and I emphatically denied the usefulness of the device. In fact, I showed my contempt by buying a new electric typewriter in the 1980’s, when personal computers were becoming common. I think it was the year 2000 before I felt the need to buy a computer, -- but just for a trial run. It’s been on trial for nearly two decades.

            Throughout much of my adult life, I subscribed to a daily printed newspaper, -- first, the Houston Post, and then, the Houston Chronicle when the Post shut down. Reading the newspaper while drinking my morning cup of coffee was a lifelong ritual, which I greatly enjoyed and was sure I would never give up.

            Well, guess what? I now no longer subscribe to a daily paper; instead, I read and watch the daily news on my iPad. If anyone had told me a few years ago that was going to happen, I would have laughed at the absurdity of the thought.

            OK, so, as the world changes, I keep changing. In spite of myself! However, when it comes to books and magazines, I still insist on words printed on paper which I hold in my hand. Even the idea of reading a book on a Kindle repulses me. And don’t even talk to me about listening to a book on a CD. I bought a set of tapes once with the whole Bible recorded on them. I used the tapes for a couple weeks, maybe a month, and couldn’t wait to return to reading Scripture in real book form.

            The bottom line is, I want my books and magazines in book form, if books, either soft back or hardback, printed on real paper, -- with lots of margin space to write notes. And I want paper that won’t tear when you underline important passages. Most importantly, I want to reread parts of the book, or the whole book! For me, giving away a book would be like giving away a member of my family.

            Until I retired recently, I was always too busy to send off very many poems, articles, and stories to magazines in which I hoped to publish. I did manage, however, to send off a few poems and stories over the years, and to get them printed, and I still have printed copies of those publications.

            Well, my retirement has allowed me the time to send off an enormous number of poems, stories, and articles, especially poems.

            It is certainly ironic, and in a sense prophetic, that the first two poems accepted by an editor a few months ago were for an online magazine.

            So, in February, when the next issue appears, I will have to go online to see my poems. No printed poetry magazine with beautiful cover to hold in my hands, with my poems appearing in printer’s ink on real paper, to swoon over!

            It seems very strange to me, but the truth is that more and more magazines today are online-only publications, or they can be had either online or in printed form. Even some of the older magazines have added online versions of their print mags.

            I guess, when it comes to writing for and reading publications of any kind, I must learn never to say “never.”

-0-

Ray Spitzenberger is a free-lance writer and artist who lives in East Bernard with his beautiful wife Peggy and spoiled cat Gatsby

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