Don of the Digital Age
I was born 55 years ago in a small coal mining town in southern West Virginia, the spawn of a Jewish couple whose roots were in Poland and Russia.Â As I took in my first gulp of air, Harry Truman was putting the finishing touches on his administration and my first recognition of politics was the bitter pills my parents swallowed after successive defeats of Adlai Stevenson at the hands of Dwight Eisenhower.
There was no television in the place I first called home on 110 Hume Ct. in Beckley West Virginia, only some old radios and some music devices.
In 1958, when I was 7 years old, I won a bubble counting contest in the Miami Herald’s funny pagesÂ and won a transistor radio, valued at $18 (incidentaly,18 is the Hebrew numerical value for “life”).
Although my family and I had moved to Coral Gables, Florida by then, I could pick up Cousin Brucie on WABC in New York, as well as our local stations, WQAM and WFUN, the early local Top 40 powerhouses.
Soon, a big box containing an RCA color television replaced the transistor radio as my favorite form of electric entertainment, though late at night when I was supposed to be sleeping, I’d catch a whiff of Cousin Brucie crackling softly from that trusty device.
As the years went by TV, movies, radio (in cars now, rather than on my nightstand) and HiFi music machines entertained me.Â
By the time I was in college at University of Florida, the digital age was on the horizon.Â I slept through a class in computer programming, eking out a D only by “Christmas Treeing” an exam (filling in the blurbs on my answer sheet in the shape of a christmas tree).
Years went by and I added the trappings of our electronic society, always staying several steps behind my contemporaries.Â I bought a 8-track stereo player for myÂ old CorollaÂ the last year they were manufactured.Â Owned a bulky Walkman that I took with me while jogging and a nifty Pioneer Stereo system with turntable.
In just the last 12 months I’ve acquired a Sony Clie’ PDA that I lost in the food court, an iPod Shuffle that my cat stole and hasn’t returned, a 15GB ipod that I love and a nifty Samsung cellular phone with a digital camera and all kinds of things I will never learn how to work. But I’m Digital Don now, at the dawn of even more exciting electronic doodads and thingamabobs about which I hope to write eloquently some day.
If only I could figure out where I left my flash drive, because it has two novels on it that are sure-fire bestsellers!Â Â Â Bet the cat got it!Â Okay, I’m gonna give him 20 seconds to return the flash drive AND the iPod shuffle.Â Anyone know where I can find an abacus?