I am an avid fan of authors Agatha Christie (murder mysteries), Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason) and Helen MacInnes (espionage). I have read (and re-read) many of their novels since I was a young teenager.  These authors (and others) use many devices in constructing their stories.  They used literary devices such as illusion, diction, metaphor, imagery, flashbacks and hyperbole. Their characters used devices as well. Devices called a plan, or scheme or some trickery as an end to their desired results.

We have devices today, from hand-held to wide-screen. One of my favorite storytellers, Kathryn Tucker Windham, called cell phones “adult pacifiers”.  We just can’t stand to be without them and they tend to calm us down and sometimes stir us up.  Mother is always pointing out at our Sunday dinners that most of us are sitting around the table “playing on our phones” instead of visiting with each other. In fact, last Thanksgiving she made us check our phones at the door before we could sit down at the table.

Almost all of life’s business is conducted on our cell phones: banking transactions, reading newspaper/magazine articles and even whole books. We share pictures of our kids’ ballgames and what we had for supper on our devices.  Computers, the internet, live-streaming and YouTube help us “work from home” during these days of quarantine.  We text, tweet, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram news of the day. “Like me on Facebook, please!”  Before the politician knows what he/she said, it is shared across all social media outlets.

All these devices can be good things. When Mother and I had a wild ride last October across the windy roads of Jackson County and some new friends’ yard, it was certainly good to have my cell phone with us and to have AAA and my niece on the other end of the phone to rescue us. I can’t complain too much since I am using a device to communicate this blog message through the internet and Vision 2020’s website.

How many remember the days of party lines on our telephones. You had to wait for your ring count before picking up the phone that was probably sitting on a piece of furniture and connected to a wire that led outside , attached to another line and ran down the long line of telephone poles. You also had to listen to make sure no one was using your shared line before placing your call with Sarah, the operator.  Do you remember those days when it was time to come home that your mother did not text you but hollered your name out the back door?

Have you left the house and when on the highway realize you left your phone at home? Do you debate with yourself whether to go back to it or try to get your errands done without your phone?  Have you been to a restaurant and notice a couple across the way? Their heads are bowed as they type on their devices. They are sending a text or email or playing a game or, maybe, talking with each other!  Have our phones become our pacifiers?

Vision 2020 has been using all kinds of devices to raise funds to help with the costs of restoring the old bank building in town.  V2020 has devised a plan pointing to a specific outcome. Using all the resources  available – cash, volunteer labor, social media, events – work is still going on to complete the restoration of the building and to use it to preserve the stories, the history and even some of the devices of Red Boiling Springs’ past.

Use your device to check out all that Vision 2020 is doing at:

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