Dad and Technology

After signing off a Skype call with our grandson; who lives in Ireland, I began to reflect on the ever changing technology. How amazing to be able to carry on a conversation with someone so far away from Canada. In particular I thought of my late father. Dad could repair farm machinery and cars with ease. A shop full of tools and a welder allowed him to fix machinery or fabricate tools. Neighbours would come to the shop with a broken part or an idea for a new one and Dad would get down to business to fix or create. Sometimes he would enlist my help to work on a project. I recall towing a model ‘A’ up and down the road in the rain while Dad tried to get it to start. A collector of old cars had brought this project to Dad. When computers began to be part of the operating system of cars he had to leave that repair to the experts. Dad felt this was the ruination of the automobile.

Dad bought a new car featuring an automatic choke. He did not like how it worked and that was the reason I found myself laying on my back under the dash of the new Ford. Dad was outside working under the hood. He was fishing a cable through to the inside of the cab. The garage was cold and the air was blue with language I was not supposed to be hearing. The cable would buckle and it seemed with every advance in moving the cable forward we were rewarded with a step back. It would twist and bend and frustrate my father. After several hours of annoyance the ‘new’ cable was installed complete with a knob on the dash. Dad was very proud of his accomplishment.

When the local bank announced that it was installing ATMs to replace clerks on the counter Dad marched into the bank and asked for all his money. He planned to take it to a bank who would provide personal service. A harried bank manager sat Dad down and promised that there would be tellers available to assist seniors and anyone needing help with their banking. He must have been good as he convinced Dad to leave his money with the bank.

Another not so successful experience with technology was with a programmable heating thermostat. The house was either too hot or too cold after Dad would tinker with the settings. After several calls for help from Dad, my brother removed the new thermostat and re-installed the old manual one. Dad was now in control of the heat.

Yes today’s technology would not be well accepted by Dad but it would be such fun to see how he would work around it.

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2 thoughts on “Dad and Technology

  1. Technology can be a blessing and it can be a curse: Of course my computer crashes only when I’m on deadline! When it works; it’s beautiful. When it doesn’t–well, I’ve been known to turn the air in my office a little blue.
    It would be fun to see how your dad would work around some of today’s technology.
    My father has embraced some parts of technology, but not others. He doesn’t know how to use his wife’s computer, but he loves his tablet–in fact he now has two, so that when one is charging, the other is ready for use. He has a cell phone, but prefers the fact that his wife uses hers so he doesn’t have to use his. He’s found his “work-arounds.”
    As we are now the “seniors”, it’s nice that we are moving along with the technology–and when we feel left behind, we have our children, or grandchildren, to help us.

  2. Oh your Dad was a typical farmer he could fix anything and when he could not be would build what he needed. Technology has changed the way we do things and I think your Dad would have eventually be curious enough to see what it was all about. Farmers old and young are changing with the times. It is not easy. I think your Dad was very clever. Good post. Hug B

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