December 1, 2012

History of technology at a camp in Maine

Letter to the Editor

In 1969, my father befriended a man who owned a couple of cabins in Penobscot County that we rent every year. No running water or electricity. Propane for the fridge, lights and stove. Perfect for getting away from the bustling life that is Sidney.

Every Wednesday night -- no matter the weather -- Dad always called home from the pay phone at the corner store 13 miles away.

Technology at the time consisted of a lighter for the fireplace, a quarter for the pay phone, a compass and a large fiber barrel to collect rainwater.

Eventually, my brother and I were allowed to go along. My brother was luckier than me; he got his deer in his first trip. Me, I'm still trying.

Technology still consisted of a compass, a quarter, a lighter and that fiber barrel.

Coyotes and clear cutting decimated the deer population, but it's still a chance to spend a week away from everything the beeps, rings or has a keyboard.

In 1996, I brought a StarTac cell phone to the camp. Dad could call home without driving to town on Wednesday night. He called Mom from the camp, amazed with the phone.

Now the technology includes a cellphone, a new thick plastic barrel and cholesterol medication.

In 2012 cellphones became essential when the pay phone was removed from the corner store.

We still have the barrel to collect water, and we still use a lighter to start the fire. Now we call Mom every night. The fridge died; we use a cooler. We take cholesterol -- and other -- medications.

Last week, my nephew pulled out his smart phone, punched up an "app," and said, "Here's my compass."

Wonder if he can get an "app" to show where the deer are hiding?

Brian Bean, Phoenixville, Pa.

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