Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Blast to the Past

Once Upon a Time, People Didn't Just Fly

When I was young people just didn't get onto a plane and travel across the country. I mean - yes they could just go to an airport and pay for a ticket and fly wherever the airlines out of that city might take them - but at that time it was a major financial undertaking to fly anywhere.

I'm not ancient, but I still remember what it felt like to be at the end of an airport runway and feel the pounding base of the engines of a propeller driven passenger plane - and not a short distance commuter run either. When my Grandparents flew to Norway from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, it was a major family event and all the children and grandchildren were there to see them off! Of course back then we could all stand outside the terminal in an open patio area to watch Grandma and Grandpa climb the mobile staircase onto the plane. This was before the thick bulletproof glass security they separate passengers from the general public came into effect as well.

Back then, if you were going to travel a thousand miles you would very likely consider car, bus, or train before plane. It was only a decade later that a person would consider the loss in wages and how many would be travelling in the car as to whether to drive or not. We flew to my Grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary rather than drive the thousand miles there. It just seemed more worth it at the time.

Now it seems that every time you turn around there are new taxes, tarrifs and surcharges on air travel... or even taxi fares!

I think that many are thinking twice at the moment - with the increase in fuel prices - about any trip they might take. People even are thinking twice about shipments of goods like food. My friend the butcher was telling me that they were going to be charging him extra on his shipments of cheese! He was going to have to rethink his ordering because they were putting a surcharge on small shipments like his orders. It seems that even some major highways have fewer cars on them. People are thinking twice before travelling.

Now this is not 100% a bad thing. It does probably save on the environment. However, it also increases the cost on most all of the products on the shelves including necessities like food - remember what I said about the cheese - and I know my income hasn't increased. I am not sure on how economies work, but I figure that will lead to others increasing the price of their goods and services in order to pay the higher prices - et cetera.

Oh for a COLA about now... meaning Cost Of Living Adjustment clause on my income.

Now of course back in those days of much more expensive air travel I hearkened to earlier long-distance telephone calls were also very expensive and people didn't make many of them either. They relied on mail and on occasional telegrams as well. Right now we have such instant communication including audio-video calling via computer that we can have very strong ties to people around the world. Decades ago you might never have considered meeting a long distance acquaintance - but a few years ago, you might have planned a vacation around it. perhaps people would re-think that.

Are we going back to the days when people would be reluctant to fly... and for more reasons than that of fear of terrorism?

~ Darrell


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