A Cowboy’s Faith: Many methods of communicating

buchmanhead“They’re all marbles in the jar.”

Comment said frequently around the office helping customers coordinate efficient advertising.

First, must reflect the marble collection six decades ago. A quart jar in grandma’s closet about half-filled with marbles. Little plastic bags with half-dozen marbles came in cereal boxes for a time, and accumulation grew.

Never a champion, marbles were played during early schooldays. Teachers disallowed playing for “keeps,” meaning winner got the other’s marble. Of course, that rule was broken, just for the sake of not following rules. Sure wonder what happened to all of those marbles in the jar?

Subject at hand, there are so many ways to communicate today compared to even a few years ago.

Newspapers began in the late 1600s, continuing, contrary to some saying, “Newspapers are dead.” Admittedly, circulation and hardcopy readership are lowest in a long time.

The United State Postal Service in 1775 grew from horses to trains, through new technologies delivering mail worldwide. Modern inefficiencies are another yarn.

Since 1844, telegrams hand-delivered messages anywhere on the planet, yet almost impossible now.

Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in 1876, but telephone-like devices were used earlier.

Phone transition is interesting. From “number please” operators, two-longs and two-shorts party-line rings, to dial phones, then push buttons, and modernization multiplied. First cigar-box mobile-phones, now sophisticated cell phones, majority population utilizing.

Fax, short for facsimile, sending images via telephone, has evolved, peaking from the late-1980s to the mid-2000s, limited use today.

Crudest radios were around in 1780 without advancement until 1900. Then commercial radio broadcasting in the 1920s expanded during World War II. The first television was invented in 1927, but really wasn’t common in homes until the ’60s.

First computers in the 19th century evolved three generation’s improvement to the existing computers tied closely to communications.

Impossible for a cowboy to list all today’s communications methods. There are old- fashioned newspapers, “snail-mail,” telephone, radio and television. New-fangled, incorporating past centuries’ developments, non-conclusive: internet, email, texting, online-social media.

Spreading information to everyone requires “marbles in the jar.” People adhere to many communication forms. Every one has its place. Handwritten note or personal call still the best.

Reminds of Ephesians 4:29: “Only use communication that is helpful.” Thus, Luke 24:14: “They were talking about all things,” so Proverbs 4:10: “I’m writing clear directions to Wisdom’s Way.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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