Rewind to the Future

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times:  there are advancements to technology, but they aren’t always advancements to the quality of our lives.  Yet every day I find myself more dependent on some form of technology, and I must admit that a few have become quite the convenience.  Take my laptop, for example.

About six years ago, my parents surprised us with a laptop because our son had reached the stage of his schooling where he needed one to complete his homework.  Then there was the fact that the school insisted communication with students and parents be conducted mostly, if not solely, via e-mail and homework sites.  We had an old desktop model, but it just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

Since the generous gifting of the laptop, I have come to enjoy it for online banking, communicating with friends (although I still argue that social media makes people who once met for socializing somewhat lazy), watching movies, and my favorite, ripping CDs into custom-made playlists.  And then one horrific day, the DVD/CD drive thingy stopped working.

At first I couldn’t open it.  Not even with the cool trick using a paperclip the guy at the store showed me.  And when I placed a DVD or CD inside and shut the drawer, the laptop no longer read it.  Imagine my dismay.  My playlists would grow no more, and worse, it may be time to look for another laptop.

There was the option of an external drive, but even the sales clerk thought the price his employer was charging to be a little outrageous.  He suggested I try shopping online if I absolutely needed one.  At least he didn’t try to sell me a laptop I wasn’t prepared to buy at the moment.  Our finances aren’t ready for that commitment yet.

I’m not exactly technologically challenged, but I’m not savvy either.  Perhaps with all this streaming, DVDs and CDs were going by the wayside.  One day while running errands, I consulted our in-house IT geek also known as our son.  When I posed this thought to him, he agreed that an external drive would simply be a convenience for old-schoolers like me.

“You could rip all your CDs, Mom.  They even have external connections for those other things you and Dad have.”

“What other things?”

He cupped his left hand with a U-shaped slot between his thumb and fingers and inserted his other flattened hand inside, mimicking something.

“You know, those square things.”

Images of 3.5-inch floppy disks sprang to mind, but they had nothing to do with our discussion.

“What things, Joshua?”

Again, and with much exasperation on his part, he mimicked some bizarre function by rotating his index fingers in circles going the same direction.

“Those things that are square and go ‘round and ‘round.”

“You mean…cassettes?”

Let the laughter begin.  I rarely get one up on this kid these days.  He’s a titch smug from time to time with all he knows technologically, so when I have the opportunity to laugh (and I’m talking Precious Pup, wheezing type laughter as I’m driving) I take it.  Joshua is a good sport, though, and after turning beet red, he joined in the hilarity.  Still, he’ll never know the satisfaction of saving a favorite cassette from destruction by rewinding it with a pencil.

The Trip to Bountiful

Geraldine Page

Geraldine Page

The Trip to Bountiful starring Geraldine Page is one of the best movies ever made. It’s based on Horton Foote’s play which originally aired on NBC in 1953 before being produced for Broadway.

The story follows Carrie Watts, an elderly woman living with her weak-willed son, Ludie, and his self-centered wife, Jessie Mae. All Carrie wants before she leaves this earth is to see her beloved hometown, Bountiful, one last time. Although she’s strong in spirit, she’s too frail in heart and body to safely make the trip alone.

Her days are spent cooped up in a little apartment in Houston, Texas, singing hymns and trying to stay out of Jessie Mae’s way. Their verbal sparring is the result of different desires. Carrie wants to live in the past when life was simpler while her daughter-in-law yearns for materials things in a modern world. When Carrie can no longer wait, she sneaks away to Bountiful for the trip of a lifetime.

While most everyone will agree that remakes are rarely as good as the original, Cicely Tyson has undertaken to recreate the magic of the original Trip to Bountiful movie. She started out on Broadway, but I’m pleased to say the version including her performance, which appeared on Lifetime, is on also DVD.

Regardless of which version you choose to watch first, you won’t be disappointed. I strongly recommend you take the time to watch both. The strength of desire portrayed by Mrs. Page and Mrs. Tyson is overwhelming. You’ll be rooting for Carrie Watts and humming hymns long after the movie has ended.

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

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