Class of '97

After 3 years of the Army I gained one year of lost college by attending night and summer schools. I graduated in 1947 from Richmond University, located in the heart of this capital of Virginia.

In 1997, on our way north, my wife and I stopped to attend my 50th reunion. There were about 50 of us. For the dinner affair we chose old classmate Paul Duke to be our spokesman. Paul had been for many years the moderator of the television show “Washington Week in Review”. This was and still is aired at 7:00 PM every Friday evening on PBS.

Paul narrated the following: In May 1947 we were packing and moving out of the dorms for the last time, with most of us probably wearing some form of army or navy issue. Clothes were packed in duffel bags, not nice suitcases. A few had old jalopies. We really looked like yokels.

In contrast, arriving as we were leaving were well dressed distinguished looking men. They were attending their 50th reunion having graduated in 1897, in the last century. They were driving large expensive automobiles.

Paul pointed out that these gentlemen were born 10 to 15 years after the Civil War and had to come to school in a horse and buggy. If they arrived by train they would have to take a buggy taxi from the station. Note, Ford didn’t have his first Model T until 1908.

The fact is that these 1897 graduates saw the inventions of the telephone, telegraph, radio and TV. In addition to the automobile, airplanes were invented in their young lives.

Just think what has happened in the 15 years since 1997. The tremendous innovations centered around the computer seem endless.

We are still a young, vibrant country and it may be only the beginning of many, many, many innovations.

David T. Daniel
Southbury, CT ©2013

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