They included a calendar for appointments, trip mileage, birthdays and anniversaries, brief notes and a cross-reference to the address book for addresses, phone and pager numbers, a zip code directory and e-mail addresses, when there was one.
I kept family pictures and a small calculator for figuring mileage and expenses. There were pockets for receipts, business cards, credit cards and a ring for keys.
Information was transferred to another organizer from year to year. It was efficient but a bother in December. There was a small purse for holding quarters, you know, for pay phones.
When the massive new terminal complex opened in Atlanta in 1980 there were three-thousand pay phones in gates and concourses. Now you have to look for one. If you lost it you were in a world of hurt.
I still have it and am amazed at the stuff it held. It is just one more thing waiting for “re-purposing.”
This information, and more, now travels in a holster on my hip: my cell phone. The address book doesn't require white-out and lasts from year to year. The data is backed up on two computers and a flash drive. The calendar is self-deleting and rolls over each month. I can keep a copy or delete it.
I can instantly convert temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius, speeds from miles to knots, feet to meters with little “apps,” or applications.
When I need a camera it is in my phone, when I want a video camera it is in my phone. Hundreds of photographs live on my cell.
Paper notes and receipts are kept using the camera function; snap and they're tossed. Some banks allow you to photograph a check and send an image for deposit; it's done.
Many people don't bother wearing a watch because the cell displays correct time. The cell is my alarm clock and adjusts when I enter a different time zone.
More than once, when momentarily discombobulated, the map feature on the cell identified my precise location using GPS technology, and directed me to the destination with a moving map and directions by voice.
Last month I used the option of having my airline boarding pass sent to my cell. That was one less piece of paper to lose.
People use their cells for entertainment, listening to music or watching movies (I can't get over that one.)
I hear your cell will become your television remote, open your car door, serve as your ignition key. Is there a limit?
There is a free device that turns your cell into a credit card reader. That will come in handy if I ever again see that guy who owes me a bunch of money.
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.