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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From My Window

Issue Date: May 31, 2018

Gone Away



By Jane Thibodeau Martin,



I was sitting in my doctor's office recently and started looking around the waiting area. There was lots of seating, and little round tables to put things on. But one thing was conspicuously missing - reading material. No magazines, no newspapers.

There was a time any waiting area was full of magazines of various types and vintages. It was sort of fun to "treasure hunt" around and see what caught your eye to pass the time. But the waiting room I was in was full of two types of people - those engrossed in an electronic device and those talking with a companion. No one was reading. I am sure the magazines were a cost, and a housekeeping complication. So they are gone away, and magazines in general are following the same path. (When we were kids, the TV Guide magazine was indispensable. Hilarious when you think that we only received three stations. Now your TV can tell you what's on, no need for a separate magazine.)

Several of the periodicals I get helpfully offer me "electronic subscriptions." No thanks. It's not that much fun to look at little screens. There is nothing like the feel of a magazine in your hands, tucked into your carry-on bag or passed between family members or like-minded friends.

This made me think about some additional things going away since my last list which included stemed wineglasses and fine china. Here's the new additions:

" Pantyhose: Once a staple for women who dressed up for work or special occasions, apparently they are also an endangered species. I had a hard time finding a display of them recently when I was shopping for my daughter's wedding. When I finally found the tiny selection I was astonished at the price: $6.49 for the egg-shaped brand I used to buy for $1. (That tells you how long it's been since I needed any.) I am informed the younger women just don't wear them. At almost $7 for something that usually immediately gets a "run" in it; I understand why!

" Alarm clock radios: We gave ours away when my husband retired (hooray!) because if you have a cell phone, you don't need the alarm or the radio. Your phone can work as both.

" Ditto the weather radio that protected my family and me here in Oklahoma. It's now easy to set the weather alarm feature on your phone; and best of all, it follows me no matter where I am. So if bad weather threatens me on the highway, in Wisconsin, or wherever my travels take me, it's watching over my safety.

" Ditto wrist watches. Need to know the time? Check your phone. It also works as a timer.

" Ash trays: Can't remember the last time I saw one in a house. I do know someone who has one in their back yard for the use of friends.

" Land Line phones: Going, going gone. Very few cell phone users keep a land line any more. And along with that, the utility of printed phone directories. Fewer and fewer people have "land lines" and cell phones aren't listed in the directories.

" "Getting your tonsils out." When I was a kid EVERYONE but me had their tonsils out. Can't tell you now the last time I heard of someone getting their tonsils out, but it's probably been several decades.

If you have a nominee for the "gone away" list let me know and I'll do another column in a few months.

I am happy to share the news that my husband has completed his radiation treatments and has "rung the bell."

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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