LAKEWOOD, New York - I'm reading a book by Thomas Friedman called The World is Flat, a look at how much the world has changed in the last 15 years - let alone in the nearly 40 years since we graduated from SWCS.
And as I was looking around today - trying to find a nice exterior shot of the Jamestown Post-Journal so I could rail more about their circulation policies - I stumbled across the satellite photos on Google that people have been telling me about, which are as astounding as I have been told.
I've played with the images a little in the past, but today when I zoomed in on Jamestown and then moved the cursor around a little, it was great fun to see Lakewood, Chautaqua Gorge, Mayville - even Frewsburg.
When the first U.S. spacecraft first landed on the moon, I was sitting watching TV with my grandmother (she was in her late 70s or early 80s at the time) who was stunned at what she saw. I was awed, too, but being a science fiction buff even then, it seemed, well, so natural for a spaceship to land and people to go stomping around.
After watching that first step out of the spacecraft, my grandmother - nicknamed Shotgun by my friends - got up and left the room, muttering to herself.
I later asked her what was going on and she just said, "NO..."
"I don't believe it," she said. "I just don't believe it."
My grandmother had been born in the 1880s, seen electricity come to her part of New York City, was the first woman in her social set ride in an automobile, lived through the inventions of the phonograph, radio, television - and God-knows-what-all - and she had simply reached her capacity for swallowing change. I believe when she died some years later, she still refused to believe that someone had walked on the moon.
We've had a few changes ourselves since the Class of '66 went careening out into the night: incredible medical advances, computers, digital photography, the Internet and on and on...
Kee-rist, I had my eyes operated on eight years ago and after a life of myopia, now have 20-20 vision. (That would have helped a lot in sports in 1966...)
Friedman's book is going to help me explain to my granddaughter about what's going on in the world today, though one of the main tenets is that things are changing so rapidly, it's hard to predict what's next.
But in the meantime, I think I'll check the Google satellite shots of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to see if the surf is up.
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