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Pamela Loxley Drake isn't sold on technological advancements making life better, but hey, that's life.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeThe black box camera along with the Brownie camera resided in our home when I was small. They took black-and-white pictures. — pictures that, when developed, had a scalloped edge. The colors of the landscape and the shades of the times were lost until a later time.

Then came color film. Cameras became more technical, calling for stops and settings. Pictures came alive with color. Lenses allowed the photographer to zoom in or zoom out.

It was a game-changer.

Along came the Polaroid. Instant pictures. No bells and whistles, only paper and picture. So much advancement in the photographic world.

When I first began working in an office, we used a Kodak Verifax machine to make copies. Sheets of treated paper were pulled through a messy (and smelly) solution. The copies were OK but not great. It was certainly better than the mimeograph copier we had when I went to school.

Then, lo and behold, Xerox combined photography with copier technology. Next came inkjet and laser. The end.

Well, not really the end. This is one of the many things that has happened in my lifetime. It will only continue to grow and change, until we can think of a picture and our brains will copy it then it will pop out of our mouths.

OK, I get carried away. But doesn't it seem remarkable how far we have come? And, are we so sure we like this race into the future?

Progress comes at a cost, with sacrificing land, trees, interaction, personal touch. Advancement seems to encourage more isolation — A fast-paced life that steps away from the Sunday drive and family interaction.

There is no stopping it. We cannot even imagine where it will go.

I learned to type on an old manual typewriter that required finger strength to press down the keys and the ability to separate the long keys when you pushed more than one at once. That rhythmic sound was accomplished when you no longer looked at the keys. The only sounds were the tapping and the occasional sound of paper being ripped from the machine, followed by an expletive.

Ah, those were the days. The ability to coordinate eyes and fingers. Now all we need is a finger to push a button.

Are we moving forward? Maybe we are moving ourselves away from what is important?

We all like our lives to be simplified, easier. We can now do away with the paper and the copier and send documents directly to the recipient. Our photos are as close as our phones.

We must admit that there is only one way off this speeding bullet called life. I may miss the old, but I am not too old to change.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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