What if?

am very curious about what people will do if they are cut off from things that are very common today and which we all take for granted.

Today if the electricity goes off for half an hour, we start complaining about how miserable life is without it. Most people who are 45 or 50 years or older grew up in San Pedro without electricity. Some would complain about there being no water. We went to the well with a pail and a rope and drew out water. Others will complain about the fan or the air conditioner not working. We used a piece of cardboard shaped like a hand fan. Others will complain of no television. We grew up with the battery radio. Still others will complain about there being no lights. We grew up doing our homework with candlelight or with the kerosene lantern.

If the electricity goes off, the microwave can not function. We lit coconut husks to make a good fire which was used for all types of cooking. If the electricity goes off, the washing machine will not work. We grew up washing clothes on the scrubbing board and a clothes brush. Others used the "botella" which was a flat container on which clothing was rubbed over and over until they got clean. If the power goes off, there are no tortillas. We grew up grinding corn by hand-mill and mother baking tortillas over a "comal" or hot plate, over the fire. '

If the power goes off, there is no computer working. We were raised writing on a slate with a lead pencil and later on with an exercise book. If the power goes off, the cashiers will not be able to add and keep a record of their sales. We were raised being experts with the mathematical tables and all mathematics was done by thinking and memory. If the electricity goes off, we can not charge our golf cart batteries nor sell gasoline at the gas station. We grew up paddling our dories to any destination or walking the difference. If the electricity goes off, our refrigerators won't function. We had no refrigerators and when we did they worked on kerosene, a wick and heating elements.

What if the electricity went off? The band wouldn't play. In days gone by the accordion and acoustic guitars needed no power.

What if all planes were grounded. In the past we traveled by sailing boats to any destination, even though it took a day or two. No power means no ice cream. We used the manual ice-cream tub which had to be swung by hand. This took an hour or two but was a great source of exercise, just like the water hand pump.

No power, no poker machine. We used the regular cards for a game of poker. No power, no power saw. The hand saw was man's faithful companion even to cut all the angles for a set of steps with 15 to 20 treaders. Think of the hand or manual plane, drill, sander, and even a manual lathe used for carving posts into beautiful designs.

No power - no compact disc player. Well in the 1940's there was the "vitriola" which played records by means of a manual turntable. With a handle you spun the record at any speed you desired. In the kitchen, instead of an electric blender, or mixer, we used the hand beater. No electric toaster. Bread was toasted inside a frying pan. No fruit juicer. Oranges were squeezed by hand.

Whatever your fine amenities today, people still managed in days gone by. It took a little longer, but there was a lot of pride in one's work. Also people seemed to have a lot more time. Maybe then people worked less hours or the days had more than 24 hours. But if we had to go back to the good old days, many of us would die or not be able to cope.

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