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Pathways Through Our Past

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Pathways Through Our Past
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Things from the past

Time moves so fast that things change or are replaced and we soon forget about them until someone brings them to mind.


The Declaration of Independence wasn't signed with a pen but with a feather quill. Later, pencils were invented and then along came the fountain pen with a batter which held the ink.

Working with this kind of pen and ink was messy. Fingers ended up blue and if the ink was spilled on clothing, it didn't wash out. I know because the boy who sat behind me put the end of my braid in the inkwell and the braid moved back and fourth across my back as I moved in my chair. I didn't know what was going on until the teacher happened to walk past and saw how my blouse was stained.

Needless to say, that was the last time we got to write with ink (that was in fourth grade). Then along came the ball point pen and everyone has a bunch of them. They are given away with the business's name on the side. It was good advertising with the hope you will continue going to that business.

About the time the pen was invented, the typewriter came along. This invention made such a difference in communication. It was neater and so much easier to read. It also provided employment for many people. There were schools for secretaries to be trained to type very fast and also accurately. When you went to interview for a job, the employer looked at these facts.

Next to come was telecommunication, sending a fax and the all important computer. The kids learned to use this invention as early as preschool. For some of us, we didn't learn until much later in life.

There is so much that you can do with it. Research, write letters, make cards, do power point presentations, etc. I have to depend on the younger generation to show me what to do.

My old computer died or something. Even Paul Bunyan couldn't retrieve my files. So I broke down and bought a laptop. Now I can carry it around with me. Why? I haven't figured that out yet but maybe someone will tell me.

Along came the cell phone. On some people it looks like it has grown on their ear. As I drive down the road it looks like everyone is talking on their phone. I bought one after my heart attack so I can let the husband know if I am going to be late or if the weather is bad, I check in so he will know I am on my way home. If it rings while I am driving, I pull over. I don't want to be distracted. I don't understand texting and don't plan on learning.

In my lifetime I have seen so many changes and I am sure there will be more as technology continues to find ways to do things faster and faster. I guess I will keep on at a slower pace. Maybe I can find a feather quill and see if I can write with it.

Pioneer staff reports