Early technology in Tennessee discovered


By Bill Derby

Thank heavens people send me stuff. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it can’t be printed. I don’t know if that means I bring out the humor in some and the worst in others.

I never intended to write another word of copy once I got out of the Army. Life sometimes has a way of changing your plans and wishes, like almost every week.

I have not a clue from whence my words come. I do have a distant cousin in California who once wrote two books, one about a murder and the other about our ancestor who helped map the west.

My father was a prolific letter writer to the Johnson City Press Chronicle.  He spent numerous hours thinking of illuminating, humoristic and somewhat intelligent words to include in his political, historical letters to the editor.

One regular reader, there are two, including Judy who is my censor, sent this to me about the archeological history of copper wire. It is true as far as I know.


Copper Wire

After having dug to a depth of 10 yards last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 150 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, California scientists dug to a depth of 20 yards, and shortly after, headlines in the LA Times newspaper read: ‘California archaeologists have found traces of 200 year old copper wire’ and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network fifty years earlier than the New Yorkers.

On week later in the Johnson City Press Chronicle it reported the following: ‘After digging as deep as 30 yards in a corn field near Erwin, Tennessee, Bodean Buck Elrod, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Bodean has therefore concluded that 250 years ago Tennessee had already gone wireless.

Go figure.

Middle Age truisms. 

1. A man who remembers when corn-cure ads showed only the toes.

2  A time of life when our tripping becomes less light and more fantastic.

3. A time of life when winking at a girl is closing one eye to reality.

4. A time when you want to look fit as a fiddle, but bulge like a bass.

5. That period in a man’s life when he’d rather not have a good time than have to get over it.

6. That period in life when you can’t decide which there are more of – age or middle is.

7. That period when a man begins to shed his hair, his teeth, and his illusions.

8. That period when a woman’s life appears to be all bleaches and cream.

9. That time in a man’s life when the elasticity lost from his sinews seems to settle in his conscience.

10. That time in life when we being to develop scales resistance.

11. That time of life when you’re reduced to reducing.

12. The time of life that affects us in the middle.

13. The time of life when a man can get exhausted simply by wrestling with his conscience.

14. The time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.

15. The time when you’ll do anything to feel better, except give up what’s hurting you.

16. When the average person is going to begin saving next month.

17. When a man starts complaining that the cleaners are shrinking his suits.

18. When a man stops wondering if he can escape temptations and begins to wonder if he’s missing any.

19. When a woman takes her high school annual out of the bookcase and hides it where the children can’t find it.

20. When greener grass is something that just has to be mowed more often.

21. When many women consider mending their weighs.

22. When the girl you smile at thinks you are one of her father’s friends.

23. When the girl you whistle at thinks you must be calling a dog.

24. When you are sitting at home on Saturday night and the phone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.

25. When you begin to exchange your emotions for symptoms.

26. When you can do as much as before, but don’t.

27. When you don’t care how long you stay out if you’re home by 9:00 P.M…

28. When you go all-out and end up all-in.

29. When you laugh at pictures that you once prized.

30. When you look forward to a dull evening.

31. When you no longer care where your wife wants to go – so long as you don’t have to go with her.

32. When you’re as young as ever, but it takes a lot more effort.

33. When you’re grounded for several days after flying high for one night.

34. When you start eating what is good for you instead of what you like.


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