He prefers old over new

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 21, 2008

For some reason I was thinking the other day about old dogs and new tricks.

I’m not really sure why. I guess when you get to be an old dog’s age in people years, obscure thoughts come rushing to the front of one’s brain.

But there’s something about old vs. new that I can’t quite get my arms around, not that my arms have shrunk with advancing age. I think I read a chapter about how older people shrink in their advancing years. If memory still serves, it was a portion in that AARP magazine, to which I have a monthly subscription. Hey, I qualify, but it doesn’t mean I can’t accept new ideas.

I would like to think I can willingly accept new technology until I see some fourth-grader learning it faster than I can. Then I realize my brain is not as nimble as I’d like.

I can listen to new music on a progressive radio station in the car, yet I turn on the old reliable station when I get home.

I find myself with two computers — the newer one is the hand-me-down — but I can’t commit to the newer one just yet, even though it’s got better features.

And my music and video collection is terribly weighted toward the old stuff. Bogart still trumps Pitt.

Is it an example of old habits dying hard? I’m not sure.

I prefer visiting Colonial Williamsburg over Busch Gardens.

Ditto for older downtowns to suburbia.

I also find it hard to give up on earthly things that I’ve relied upon for so many years: cars, hand tools, clothes, appliances, tables and bookcases and the like.

It broke my heart when I could no longer repair my grandmother’s toaster, the one that allowed bread to descend on its own, without an exterior handle. I could no longer repair it. I still have, however, her ironing board with the wooden legs.

I also have my grandfather’s sextant, an old device used to navigate on the water using the location of the stars. That my grandfather even had a sextant is amusing to me. He spent his working life on the Hudson River in New York. The Hudson runs north and south for hundreds of miles. If one sails east or west he’s going to strike land. Seems to me that’s enough of a navigational tool.

I’ve forgotten why I started writing about old things. I guess that comes with age, too.