A Glance Down Memory Lane

Occasionally a thing will happen that highlights the revolution we have lived through. This morning among the packages of pens the post-lady delivered was a letter (remember them?) handwritten by a retired gentleman who, I think, wishes to revisit his youth in the form of a Swan pen. He was given my address by a customer of mine and enquires if I have a leaflet or brochure of the pens I am offering for sale. No computer, you see, and no ability to peruse the website.

Considering the retro technology that we favour here, the old gentleman shouldn’t be deprived of the ability to pick and choose among my pens just because he doesn’t have one of those pesky new-fangled computers. It’s a challenge, however. He does have a telephone, though, and I believe I’ll give him a call and try to get an idea what age and type of Swan pen he’d like.

Once I have a general idea, I can knock up a brochure of a dozen or so pens quite easily. Only black and white, though. Normally the only printing I do is the record-keeping of the business and I have no call for colour. I got rid of my expensive-to-run scanner/printer/make-the-tea device quite a while ago because I was tired of paying Hewlett-Packard’s annual wage bill in colour cartridges.

It’s all a little reminder of how we did business not all that terribly long ago – writing to the manufacturer or retailer for the latest catalogue or brochure of goods, picking one out to order and awaiting delivery of the item some time later. It’s easier now – or should be – with digital photography and the World Wide Web, but maybe it lacks some of the excitement and anticipation of the distance shopping of long (is it really that long?) ago.

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