Sorting through the past


I’ve been doing some a little sorting through my goods recently. Mostly it was because I was looking for a few things. I found several relics of the past that are now rather sadly out of date but that once were a basic part of my daily life.

One was my Personal Word Processor. I loved my PWP. It was something of a cross between an electric typewriter and a word processor. You could call it an early computer, but it functioned about like Microsoft Word does now on any computer. It had memory and discs that stored my work and a screen that flipped up when it wasn’t closed and covering the keys. Plus it corrected my spelling and had a thesaurus. I thought I was right up town to use it.

The PWP was all that I needed, and, even better, was quite basic and easy to for me understand. It was portable, too, with no large monitor tethering it to one spot. Often my then-teenage children who had been working with real computers since elementary school made fun of it.

There were discs available to easily change the typestyle on the PWP. That’s what I came across in a drawer in my file cabinet this week. Even though I admit I was a bit sad, they went into the trash because I no longer have any way to use them. Tossing those discs was somewhat the end of an era.

The PWP has been gone for some time already, sad to say. I was on my second one after wearing out the first.

There are many things like my PWP that we once depended upon but have outlived their usefulness as they are replaced by newer and faster and more convenient. And it is so easy to just put them on a back shelf to forget about.

Like film cameras. Mine in its case was taking up space on a shelf for years without ever taking a picture. It still worked fine. I finally parted with it, too, not very long ago. I had a moment of silence for it before donating it as I remembered the many times one of my young children would carry it for me as we hurried off to do an interview or attend a school event. And I thought of the many images that old Canon had captured of many good folks.

I figure that such sentiment is too often why we hang on to possessions we don’t use any longer, especially when there’s nothing more wrong with them than they’re out of date and no longer useful.