YESTERDAYS FEW KNOW

I have gotten old. Eighty two in less than a week. Some recent experiences brought the fact clearly to mind.

I stopped into Verizon to learn how to wi-fi through my cell phone. The young lady working was also babysitting her two children. Six and eight. Summertime.  The Verizon store their day camp that day.

The kids were playing with their cell phones. I mentioned how smart kids are today. Laptops, cell phones, etc.

Mom agreed. She said she remembered when all she had was a flip phone. I would say she was in her late 20’s.

I immediately thought…..If she only knew!

I was born in 1935.

In the late 1930’s into the first part of the 1940’s, our phone was the corner grocer. No one had telephones, except business people. the grocer took calls for the block.

If a call came for my father, the grocer (his name was Frank) would go out on the street and yell…..Tell John he has a call! Someone would transfer the message to my Dad or to another neighbor to relate.

Then we got a telephone. A four party line. Meant four homes had the same line. If you picked up and heard talking, you hung up till the line was free.

We graduated to a two party line. Then the time came when the only line was ours. We had a private line.

A big deal!

Cell phones did not make an appearance till my mid law practice years. Big and bulky.

The phones got smaller. I recall the flip top.

I am absolutely amazed that my cell phone today is in effect a computer. I can do everything with it.

Only took eighty two years!

When I am gone, will anyone remember?

I was surprised to read recently that typewriters are making a come back. People join together with their vintage machines and have Type-Ins.

I took a typewriting course in high school. My parents bought me a new portable for college. A Smith-Corona. Part of the Super 5 Series. Portable.

Used it all the time in college. Term papers!

Ribbons to change. Always ended up with dirty fingers. Carbon paper for copies. Dirty fingers again. A mistake had to be corrected. A bit of erasing and whiting over.

Now, vintage typing parties!

Even writing came into play this week. Cursive writing. Handwriting.

I write. I can write my name and everything else.

No big deal for me. I learned in the first grade. It was called Palmer Method.

I mentioned earlier this week that at Dueling Bartenders monday night two young ladies sat next to me. At best in their late 20s.

They saw me making notes about our conversation. They said/asked…..You can cursive write?

They could not. They could not even write their names. Both had college degrees. Into well paying jobs. However, Bush 2’s no child left behind made them computer genius. But, not hand writers.

They were impressed I could write!

I have a lot more for today. However, I shall save it for another time.

Enjoy your day!

 

EUGENE ROBINSON

A delightful evening! Spectacular! Eugene Robinson live!

Robinson is a Washington Post columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and MSNBC commentator.

Love watching him on Morning Joe. The man knowledgeable and soft spoken. His soft spoken nature was evident last night as it is on TV.

The venue the Key West Theater. Packed. 244 seats. Not one empty.

Robinson’s coverage of Trump amusing. Obviously not a Trump fan. His thrust the man does not know what he is doing nor has he surrounded himself with those that do. He suggested, without specifically saying so, he did not expect Trump to fill out his full four year term.

Two observations. Re the audience.

243 whites, 1 African-American. Robinson is African-American.

I am 81. Probably the average age last night. Only 2 persons under 60. My group who arrived in Key West 20 plus years ago aging. Younger interested replacements available?

I have known Kitty 20 odd years. Had not seen her in 10. Saw her last night. We were standing in line together waiting to get in to hear Robinson.

Age came into the conversation. Kitty happy she was 80 and still kicking. I smiled and whispered in her ear I was 81.

Kitty has an ageless beauty. Still shines through.

Kitty was with cane. She had a hip replacement in July. Coming along very well. Cane more of a mental support at this time rather than a physical one.

Hip replacements surround me. My dear fried Liz Moody is in the hospital this morning. For a hip replacement. I am hurrying doing this blog because I promised to be there before she went into the operating room.

Plan on spending the day with her lady friends waiting for the doctor’s report following the surgery. I am bringing my notes for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I will fine tune the show while waiting.

Topics tonight include Trump/Obama, the new health care act, cursive writing on the rebound, the 4th industrial revolution, a vaccination update, anti-Semitism, Stephen Miller, protests becoming criminalized, and more.

Join me! Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. A fast-moving eye-opening show. Guaranteed you will enjoy!

I mentioned yesterday that the word on the street was that Poker Run was returning. Sunrise Rotary and the City of Key West had abandoned their sponsorships following last year’s Poker Run. We were invaded by a few biker gangs.

I was wrong. There is a comment in Citizens’ Voice this morning that the Sunrise Rotary was not sponsoring Poker Run this year and the rumor that they were was false.

Did two Facebook Go Live videos yesterday. One concerned the rebirth of cursive writing. Fourteen states are teaching handwriting again.

Moonlight was the Academy Award winner for Best Picture. I saw the movie last week after it had received the award. I did not recall much of it. Fell asleep. Because I was tired or bored? Not sure.

There were some numbers in yesterday’s newspaper re the film. Neither a money maker nor costly to film. Gross so far only $25.3 million. Cost to make the film $1.5 million. The gross figure includes the $2.5 made after the film was declared Best Picture.

One in my group who viewed the picture thought we have become too politically correct. The cast is all black. Did the film win because of last year’s Awards and the furor that followed?

I continue to suspect man is living longer. Perhaps so. Read that in 2014, 72,197 persons were over 100 years.

Enjoy your day!

CATHOLIC CHURCH PRO ABORTION

Trump’s representation that Obama tapped his telephone. Absurd. The man is sick and dangerous. What next can we expect from Trump? The Catholic Church is pro abortion?

A delightful late afternoon lunch yesterday. With Liz, by Liz. Crab Louis. Enjoyed in her garden.

Last entertainment Liz will be doing for a while. She is scheduled for a hip replacement tuesday.

Eugene Robinson speaks tonight. The erudite Washington Post columnist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and MSNBC commentator. At the Key West Theater. Sponsored by the Key West Friends of the Library. At 6. Admission free.

I spoke yesterday on my Facebook video about the starvation/malnutrition of children. Worldwide and in the United States. The numbers of kids going to school hungry in the U.S. shocking.

I mentioned that 20 percent of Florida’s public school children go hungry.

This morning’s Key West Citizen printed portions of a United Way of Florida report issued last week. Almost half of Monroe County households live at or below the necessary income threshold.

Hackley reported that this day in 1856, the dentist Dr. Walton returned to Hackley’s home. To remove two of Hackley’s teeth. Third visit by Dr. Walton in three days. A total of 10 teeth pulled and three filled for various household members.

Ouch!

An issue resounding in Key West in recent days. Is Key west still bohemian? A Key Wester offered his opinion in this morning’s Citizens’ Voice: “Key West will remain bohemian until the day the chickens stop chasing the dogs.”

Which means forever!

The wind continues to be strong. Sea rough. Larger white caps than normal. Been 3-4 days now. Weather reports rough seas to continue today.

Rough water bad in several ways. Day time boat operators make no money. Water too difficult to go out. Tourists lose because they cannot enjoy our waters. Finally, concierges take a beating. They cannot book boat trips thereby earning a living.

Word on the street is Poker Run is returning. Last year things got too rowdy. Biker gangs arrived. Trouble. Fights, beating, etc.

Marlon Brando and his bikers took over Duval.

Sponsors Sunset Rotary and City of Key West decided to ban future poker runs. A decision accepted by most Key Westers.

It has been reported that Sunrise Rotary and the City have rethought their decision. There will be a poker run this year.

Could be a bad move. Damage to persons and property possible if last year’s biker gangs return.

The Mosquito Control Board is at it again. I appreciate it is the Board’s responsibility to protect us from mosquitoes. They have always done a good job. Till the Board voted to test Oxidec over my island of Key Haven. The move was rejected by residents in a vote in the last election.

A new company now involved. MosquitoMate. They are going to test their product over Stock Island. Forty thousand fixed mosquitoes per week.

Some random thoughts.

It has been over a year and no ZIKA reported cases caused by Keys’ mosquitoes. It makes me wonder why the hurry to bomb my island in the first place.

The other is the selection of Stock Island for test purposes this time. Stock Island is basically next door and to the south of Key Haven. Is it because Stock Islanders do not have the money to confront and defeat the Board? Stock Island is relatively poor. Mostly occupied by $7-12 hourly Key West workers.

Dred Scott decision published this date in 1857. Decided slaves were property and an owner could transport them anywhere he wanted.

The decision was supported by the claimed fact that there were no free blacks in 1787 when the Constitution was drafted.

If Dred Scott had come before the Supreme Court in recent years, Justice Scalia would have ruled as the Court did in 1857. The reason being Scalia believed decisions should be made based on what existed in the late 1700s when the Constitution was drafted.

Though Scalia was a great legal mind, I never agreed with his decisions. Decisions that had to be made based on the way the the Founding Fathers found things.

Conservatives loved him.

I believe Scalia did more harm than good in his many years on the Supreme Court bench.

Cursive writing is making a come back. Wow! Fourteen states have decided to teach kids how to write as well as operate a computer.

A whole generation does not know how to write. Not even their names.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GOODBYE HANDWRITING

I was in the first grade. Miss Nichols my teacher. The class being taught handwriting by Miss Nicholas. Involved, the Palmer method of writing.

The Palmer method required the student to learn to write while balancing a nickel on the back side of the writing hand. The nickel could not fall off. If it did, you were not writing correctly.

I could not keep the nickel balanced. It kept falling off. Miss Nichols stood over me, worked with me. To no avail.

I was the only one in the class that failed. All others who wrote balancing the nickel received a Palmer method button. I did not.

The first major tragedy of my life. I felt inadequate. I was a failure. Even at a young age, such feelings can abound.

If I were in the first grade today, it would be impossible for the problem to confront me. Handwriting is no longer taught. By the Palmer method or any other. Keyboard efficiency is the name of the game. Computers, cell phones, etc.

Most young people today cannot hand write their names. They were never taught to write with letters joined together to make words. They do not know how to write. The wave of the future, already here, is that hitting keys is the way it is. Keyboard communication. Handwriting no more.

I recently discussed the problem with a retired school teacher. She told me her grandchildren cannot read cursive. She has to print for them to read. They do not have signatures. They cannot write their names.

She considers it appalling.

Cursive is the key word. Cursive handwriting.

Cursive handwriting uses letters. Written letters. Like a, b, c, etc. The letters are written cojoined in a flowing manner. The a, b, c’s being used to form words.

Man got into cursive writing because it made writing faster. Speed was desired. Quill pens were first used for the purpose. Inefficient. Broke and splattered. Steel pens followed. Better than quill, with limitations also.

The final pen developed was the ball point pen. A winner! Mass produced quickly. Cheap. Writing swift. Cursive writing easy.

Cursive writing began in England before the Norman conquest. From the 16th century forward, cursive writing was used both for personal correspondence and official documents.

Cursive writing as we know it evolved in the 17th century.

Now, Thomas Jefferson’s story. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. A brilliant document. However his penmanship was lacking. He could not write cursive sufficiently. Many of the words in the Declaration were not connected to make the words whole.

Ben Franklin and others were dismayed. Jefferson was approached and told of his shortcoming. Franklin advised that the group was bringing in the services of a Master Penman. Nothing would be changed. Except the words used would be all cursive.

Jefferson was not offended. He was aware of his shortcoming and agreed that such an important document should not appear slovenly written.

Tom Matlick was the Master Penman called in to fix the Declaration of Independence. He used a feather quill pen.

The handwriting on the Declaration of Independence is considered elegant. Not Jefferson’s however.

Eighty seven years later, Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address. It was a cursive masterpiece. Each word fully joined. Experts tell us that Lincoln’s handwriting is similar to that used today. The writing comparable to the excellent penmanship of today.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, professionals in Great Britain and the United States used cursive for correspondence. The handwriting on the documents was called “fair hand.”  Fair hand meaning the instrument’s finished product looked good.

Then came the typewriter. Better for professional and business purposes. Not adequate enough that handwriting be abolished.

During the mid 19th century, most U.S. children were taught the cursive method. In the second and third grades. The teaching and use remained the same till the mid 20th century.

U.S. colleges taught students cursive handwriting into the 1930s and 1940s. A credit course. The colleges stopped teaching cursive handwriting techniques at that time.  Cursive handwriting was deemed to be too slow.

Cursive handwriting since the mid 20th century has been on a downward slope. As time progressed and technology changed, teaching professionals viewed cursive writing as too slow. The move was to computers. Keyboard efficiency the aim.

Teachers today prepare students to use computers in their future lives. Cursive writing considered of little value.The largest teachers’ union in the United States is purported to be the FairFax Education Association. The Association considers computers the wave of the future. Cursive writing a dying art..

Common Core State Standards allows teachers to teach what is required and tested through various standardized tests. Cursive handwriting is non-essential for graduating high school students. There is no standardized test for it. So why teach it.

No Child Left Behind does not rate schools on cursive writing. Ergo, the schools do not teach cursive.

The bottom line is cursive handwriting is too tedious to learn and not useful in the long run for school rating purposes.

The proof in the pudding is the 2006 SAT exam. Only 15 percent of the students wrote essay answers in cursive. Eighty five percent used computers.

A 2008 survey revealed most elementary school teachers lack formal training in teaching handwriting to students. Only 12 percent had taken a course in how to teach cursive handwriting.

A 2011 study of the effects of Common Core were not surprising.  Common Core had not made cursive handwriting a part of the curriculum. The thought was why teach something that is not subjected to standardized testing. As mentioned, forty four states push keyboard efficiency rather than cursive writing.

The 2012 trend reflects cursive handwriting down and dying. Whereas, keyboard efficiency is spiraling upward.

Recall George Zimmerman’s trial for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. Trayvon’s 19 year old friend Rachel Jeantel testified she was talking on the cellphone just before Trayvon’s death. A lawyer handed her a handwritten document and told her to read it. Rachel said she could not because it was written in cursive. The jury was shocked.

Though hard to believe, handwriting is a relic of the past. All critical writing today is done on a keyboard. Widespread use of computers is driving the written word to extinction.

The most shocking development is that your grandchildren or young children do not know how to write their own names.

Progress? I am not sure. On the other hand, I am 80 years old and buck change. I do know however that if I could not hand write notes of my research, outline my columns and stories, and play with words before entering them in the computer, I would be lost. I am married to pen and paper.