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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Those things that disappear while you don't notice...

 It's the end of another year, and a time for people to make "Top Ten" lists of the things that happened during the past 365 days.
But, for me, it's a time when I look around and say: "Y'know, you just don't see _______ anymore...". Like:
  • rungs on telephone poles. Linemen used to have to climb the poles to do their work. Remember those straps attached to their belts? Or the pitons they'd wear on their boots? Now, everything is done by cherry picker...
  • pay phones. I know there are some still around. I just never see them.
  • Cobbler shops (I'll talk about why, in a later article)
  • appliance repair shops. Few and far in between, they are...
  • Soda fountains in pharmacies... Once upon a time, children, you could order a toasted ham & cheese and a chocolate shake while waiting for your prescription.
  • railroad car style diners, with lots of stainless steel. I can think of maybe two left, one almost on Cape Cod, the other in New Hampshire...
  • Automobile tire inner tubes. Since the steel belted radial became so ubiquitous, these have been considered unnecessary...Now, they only are used on really big truck and bicycle tires (good to have a spare one around, to cut a rubber patch for a temporary mend on leaky pipes!)
  • Spindles. You know: "Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate.." Well, spindles were upright knitting needle looking devices you'd have on your desk, that you'd skewer papers on, like invoices and bills of lading. Kept them from getting blown about and lost. Haven't seen one for about 20 years or so..
  • The little juke box song selector device that used to be at your booth, that would queue up your request without your leaving the table...
  • cigarette vending machines- at $8 a pack, do they even bother to make these any more?
There are a lot of things that you don't even notice are gone, until you realize just how long it's been since you've seen one....

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