Monday, September 29, 2014


Here we go again. The miracle app of all miracle apps has arrived. It's called TALKO. I mean, why not? Sounds adolescent and even childish but this is the digital age after all and much of that is indeed childish. In the digital age, a talented programer can make anything "seem" possible - but why would he or she?

Talko is supposed to be, according to the hype - and I love this phrase - a game changer. The sub-text reads something like this: It's going to change the way you put your socks on. It will revolutionize your relationships. Talko will - and to be honest, this is the main point the creators are making - revolutionize the way you "talk" to one another.

Imagine as you talk to someone you see them, send them pictures and videos and text messages - all while a real conversation is going on! You can bring into the conversation groups of friends or colleagues. You can even bookmark the conversation and to back to that point later since the whole thing is being recorded. And stored somewhere, using precious data and network space.

While reading about this magical app, an interesting thought came into my otherwise unoccupied mind. What about pen and paper for communications? Storage is no problem and you can always go back and find exactly what was said. You want to send pictures? Just put them in the envelope! What an idea. But finding people who can still write a complete sentence, or for that matter, who want to write anything, is the problem.

Maybe this is the magical app after all. Maybe I'll try it. Now if I can just find someone who wants to "talko" to me in real time while doing all that other stuff - that's the problem. Wait a minute: do doctors count? They could see just how bad I feel. I have half a dozen or more on my speed dial.

I'm Jerry Henderson

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Several of you have asked how to follow my blogs without following a link on FaceBook.  It's easy.  Just scroll down the sidebar on the left side of the page and there is a box where you can follow by email.  Just enter your email there and you will get the blog in your inbox as they are published.

Of course you can also bookmark the site in your browser and just click on that link to see if there is anything new.

Thanks for your interest.
                                             Jerry Henderson


I don't have everyone's birthday set on my calendar but I have some.  One of those is an old Istrouma High School classmate named Nelson.  When I think of Nelson, I see this fresh faced kid who always seemed to smile at me - but then I think he smiled at us all.  There are dozens of friends from those years that I would love to send birthday greetings to but after 65 years, and a couple of thousand miles connections grow corroded and most of the time slip into that memory "cloud" where all memory seems fixed in time.  

Nelson used to publish a web site on which he posted pictures of a regular luncheon of our class.  That was painfully informative.  I would look at those faces and then compare what I was seeing with what I remembered.  Have I mentioned "painfully informative"?  I can remember finding an old photo of myself taken my Mr. Handly (I think that's the spelling), our physics teacher, and held it up beside my face as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror.  Painfully informative just about covers the wave of emotion that swept over me at the time.  That wrinkled effigy staring back at me couldn't possibly be me - could it?  Uh huh, it could.  Being older is mostly about such reality checking.  It ain't what it was and it will never be that way again.  After that it's much easier.

Nelson responded to my birthday greeting and told me of a bi-monthly meeting of half dozen of our classmates who presented him with a slice of cake and a candle at the restaurant.  His comment about listening to a table full of geezers singing "Happy Birthday" was, again, instructive.  I would give a lot to have been there.

Then I think: what would we all talk about.  Those guys have remained in the home town for their entire octogenarian lives.  They have volumes to talk about.  What I have in common with them are a few years that ended 65 years ago.  There is one thing you can say about memory that old: it's cloudy at best and no two people remember it the same way.  Yet, I'd still love to hang out at one of those breakfast meetings.  At best, it would be a happy reunion.  Then at the worst, there really might not be anything to talk about.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I sold my car.

That in itself is no big deal. Millions of people sell their cars every day. I have sold or traded cars all my life. What's different this time is this: I don't plan to replace my trusty Volkswagen. CA and I have decided to become a single car family.

Since I was seventeen, I have not been without my own personal transportation. I just sold the last in that line of vehicles, beginning with a 1947 Chevy Club Coupe. $995 it cost me. It was my first bank loan. It had a rear seat in which no normal human could comfortably sit, but, nevertheless, there it was for anyone to see. It had a vacuum assisted shift on the steering column. All you had to do was touch it in the direction of the gear you needed and it went there. I think that was the only year that feature appeared in the Chevy line. Just another good idea that didn't find a market. The Edsel comes to mind. Anybody remember the Hudson?

I had a number of cars over the years. One that stands out in my mind is a '63 Comet. It was compact and red. it was an accommodation to our need to drive something a bit more economical than the "guzzler" we had been driving. I remember picking it up in Ft. Worth and there, right next to me in the dealership, was John Connally, the governor, who sat in the same car that carried John Kennedy to his death. We nodded but didn't speak. We were not in the same social circle, you might say.

I blew the engine in that Comet somewhere between Manor and Elgin, just east of Austin, after grocery shopping in the "city". As you might guess, I didn't go for another Comet.

So, we have only one car now. That means we have to have a conversation now and then to manage our transportation needs. That has to be a good thing. How many decades have passed when there was only one car in the family stable? You get only one guess: a bunch. We'll get used to it.

There is a much larger issue at work here. It's the matter of paring down the outgo to fit within the limits of the income as one reaches deeper into those inevitable latter years. Consider registration, insurance, a new set of snow tires, regular maintenance and the unpredictable. I can afford the standard stuff. It's the unpredictable that bothers me. That VW is happier now in the hands of a young man who really needs it rather than in my garage most of the time, essentially un-needed.

The ultimate issue here is change. I'm not fond of it. It would be just fine with me if things just stayed the same. Alas, that's not reality. There are times when I wish reality would just leave me alone.  But, that's crazy-talk, isn't it?  Reality wins every time.