Recently, I was in a high tech computer business, and saw something I hadn’t seen in years.

It was out of place in this room filled with computers that could calculate how many gnats would be needed to reach from the earth to the moon .. in less time than you can spell : A.

What I saw reminded me of something else I recently saw in a college classroom.

Both sparked memories for me, and possibly for you.

We will come back to those in a moment, but first, let me put some other nostalgia on the table.

Have you ever siphoned gasoline out of a car? Hopefully, you were simply helping out a friend and not stealing for yourself.

Did you ever have a Nehi soda?

Did you get it from a vending box where you opened the top … and snaked the bottle along a maze to get it to the spot where you could lift it out?

Did you have a Moon Pie with that soda?

When you walk past Vienna Sausage in the store … do you shudder at the thought of that “jell” covering the vi-enee?

Can you sit and clearly recall the smell of a feed store or bakery? Does the smell of cut grass trigger memories? The smell of pipe tobacco?

It is amazing how things, people, pets, music, sounds, smells and visions can take our brains on journeys of long ago.

So the item I saw in the college classroom was … a slide rule.
If you don’t know what that is, or never even saw one or never learned to use it ,,, well, in today’s world it’s akin to using pebbles to count.

The item in that computer room was … a pencil sharpener.

I don’t know anyone who even uses a pencil unless they are using color pencils. Do grade schoolers even use pencils? If so, they might be closer to our ancestors than those of us with more years.

When I saw the pencil sharpener, I fought the impulse to empty it.

That was one of my jobs in the Third Grade.

That … and dusting the blackboard erasers … and there’s another memory.