When I was a kid in school I recall learning history, not because I wanted to, but because it was forced on me. 

I learned that our presidents were good people, and thus honored on our various forms of currency so that they might be remembered for all time.

​Many years later we were told that they had secrets and character flaws, that they weren’t so great after all. Can I see a show of hands of anyone who IS free of such things? They were human. But what I’d like to know is who ratted them out these hundreds of years later? Who was around at the time to verify such ugliness, and what did they hope to accomplish in doing so?

I’m reminded of Mark Twain saying, “He who tarnishes my good name enriches himself not but makes me very poor indeed.”

​Why try to diminish the good they did with gossip? And what about our money? Will it get destroyed and be replaced with the likes of Mother Theresa, Pope Francis, and others of their fine ilk? And how long will it take before they dig up some dirt on them? More importantly, how will I know if the tread on my tires is still good without good old Honest Abe to help me out?

​I was also taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America, naming it after his good friend Amerigo Vespucci, and for years making me wonder why we didn’t call it “Amerigo” and causing my brother to sing “God bless Vespucci Land, land that I love…”

​The word on the street nowadays is that Christopher never “discovered” America, as millions of people already lived here. Because of this new information and other unpleasant gossip, statues of him have been torn down and, I presume, textbooks are being rewritten. And yet, we just celebrated Columbus Day as if none of this new knowledge was really “discovered.”

​It makes my head spin.

​What will they come up with next? Oh wait, driverless cars! All I can say is “Why?” Actually I can say a lot more. What was the end game here? So that blind people could drive? Or children could chase down the ice cream truck without parental involvement? One little glitch in the system could have me end up in Wisconsin instead of West Third Street.  

​No thanks. I don’t want one. Considering my love/hate affair with electronics and how they torture me, I don’t even want a car that parallel parks for me. I’d rather walk five blocks than not be in control. As for break assist, I don’t want that either. I have a friend who says hers is unnecessarily sensitive and quite jarring.

​I don’t think I want an electric car either. I’ve been next to them at stop lights and when the light turns green it sounds like their car is starting up, as if the engine died while they were idling. Can you hear that from inside the car? If you can, that would be right up there with tinnitus and a mechanical heart to me. I might go batty.

​It’s a whole new world out there now. I’ve seen a lot of changes in my 60-plus years, some cool, some really stupid.

But it sure has been an interesting ride.

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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