Gone with the Wind – of Time! 

Columnist, Nick Wolochatiuk
Gone with the Wind – of Time! 
(Photo : Seaway News)

You can search with a hound dog, magnifying glass, telescope, fine tooth comb, detective, microscope, treasure map or a C-130 Hercules equipped with a searchlight and ten spotters. There are some things you’re unlikely to find these days. They’re gone!

Pull up to a gas station. Wait, wait some more, then honk your horn. He’s gone! Who? The guy who used to pump your gas, clean your windshield, offer to check your tires and the oil…gone! You go inside to pay, then ask, “Do you have a road map of Ontario?”

Your response will be a lengthy pause, a glazed look, then. “Uhhh, nope, gone. Oh yeah, my dad said Esso used to hand them out for free, and I remember the fireman’s hats Texaco used to give, but they don’t no more. You got a GPS, don’t you?”

There’s a 10′ wide, by 4′ deep, storey-high recess in the wall of the drug store at the southwest corner of Cornwall’s Pitt and Second. Every garbage collection day it’s piled high with assorted refuse to be collected. On rainy or windy days, people waiting for the bus take shelter in it. If they look carefully, they’ll notice some dangling wires and cover plates. The pay-phone’s gone.

A hot spot on the London England tourist itinerary is the classic red phone booth. Great place for a travel selfie. No sense trying to make a call from there. Most of the phones are disconnected, gone.

Ever since Wilbur and Orville did their thing, and Amelia disappeared, and airliners had a tail wheel, a lot of things have gone from air travel. Passengers used to walk across the terminal ramp, pause to take a look at the DC-3 they’d be boarding then turn around to gaze at their friends waving from the terminal roof. In flight, the stewardess would approach an excited youngster (me) and whisper. “Would you like to see what’s happening in the cockpit?”  Thanks to 9/11, all that’s gone

Peering out the window from 10,000′ or less was far more interesting than from above the clouds at 35,000′. Ship types were identifiable, the various crop patterns and watercourses could be discerned. Familiar towns and villages were recognizable. A fascinating jigsaw puzzle-like world unfolded below, a rewarding challenge to piece together. An in-flight movie would have just been a distraction. Except for the take-off and landing parts of a flight, sight-seeing’s just about gone.

Think back to when you were being driving instruction. “When you have to make a quick stop on a slippery surface, just ‘tap-tap’ on the brakes.” ABS braking has disposed of that technique. The only ‘tap taps’ (in Haitian Creole: ‘quick quick’) left today are those ornate, rickety buses (also called ‘Jeepney’, ‘Jingle Truck’ or ‘Chicken Bus’) in some of the Third World countries. The braking ‘tap tap’ technique is gone.

As Britney Spears sings it, “You never, never know what you got till it’s gone, gone, gone!”

Share this article