June 5, 2019

News item: On this day in 1977the Apple II computer went on sale, and the era of personal computing began. Developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, it was the first successful mass-produced microcomputer designed for home use.

SouthIn 1977 on June the fifth I was
four days away from
graduating high school
four days from embarking on the
epic journey to now

On this day in that particular year
my friends and I were
saying goodbye
to each other
to life as we knew it
to the place we had known
more as a home than our houses
or apartments

South High School

On this day in 1977 South had one
computer in residence a
large, intimidating IBM that fed on
digested, then regurgitated
rectangular punch cards that seemed
cut from manila folders

One computer
the size of a vintage Corvette
that took up most of the space
in a large room, with a
perpetually open window to dissipate3606999478_42862dd6eb_b
computing heat

Within a week
unaware that the age of
personal computing had arrived
I departed high school
life as I knew it to that point
gifted, by my parents
with a portable electric typewriter
in a hard, textured-plastic case

I took it with me when I left home
just a week later
Greyhound bus, Colorado
home to native Minnesota
the brown Smith-Corona barely
sliding beneath the seat in
front of me, sleek, ridged handle
providing a foot rest-slash-
theft prevention

Forty-two years
thousands of miles
hundreds of radio scripts, resumes,
pieces of correspondence
a thousand poems, three
partial great-American-novel (not)
manuscripts and
lord knows what else
later100_1851 300

The scribing monolith sits retired
relaxed in its case
beneath my basement steps
the stories it could (and did!) tell
clear-cut a small forest
and would probably
if digitized
appear as nothing more
than a stray ellipsis in a solitary
file of a Mac laptop

As we jokingly said in
1977 mock-robot speak
‘that does not compute’
as indeed at the time
none of us did

Ahh, but things change
time flies

So does my laptop.

Mark L. Lucker
© 2019  
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

About poetluckerate

I am a poet, writer and teacher who moved from Minnesota to New Orleans in 2008 to help rebuild the worst public school system in America. It is a huge challenge to say the least. Now, after ten years, I have returned home to my native Midwest. Writing - in many different forms and ways - has saved me untold thousands in therapy bills throughout the years. Reading my writings may do either the same - or just the opposite - for you. Read at your own risk, as I do not offer writer malpractice insurance. ;-{) I hope you enjoy what you read here.
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1 Response to June 5, 2019

  1. Rachel Woodhouse says:

    You graduated the year Jason was was born in Red Wing, MN., Elvis Presley died, it was such a shock and I got a beautiful blue electric typewriter, blue case also. I thought I was in Heaven and could send out more letters, even though I loved writing letters by hand, but this just was so exciting to type on, except using the correction tape. Then the Computers came out, not sure when we got our first one but never had to use correction tape again!! Yeah! I think my typewriter is an antique now but I can’t part with it!

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