Earthtribe-Gather: Then and Now    
 Then and Now12 comments
picture23 Nov 2009 @ 05:15, by John Ashbaugh

On this November twenty-second some forty-six years ago, I was nineteen years old and working on the third floor of the AT&T building on the corner of Olive and twenty-sixth just beyond the downtown area of St. Louis.

I was living with my mom and dad and younger brothers and sisters. I’d been at AT&T for a little over a year now. Started right out of high school, and they taught me a whole lot of electronics, enough to pass the test for the FCC second-class radio operator’s license. Most of what I wound up doing had almost nothing to do with analyzing circuits at the component level, but at least I was familiar with the principles and fundamentals of the underlying foundations of the corporate enterprise. The plans for going to college were already in motion. I was sure I wanted to go to some university in some other state, and I was browsing catalogs. I was looking for a school with Aeronautical engineering. I was fascinated with the emerging space program of the early sixties, and I had been good with math and science, so this seemed like a logical direction. I was making plans for my future, methodical and measurable plans.
As a communication hub in the AT&T network, covering all kinds of cable and radio transmitted telecommunications media including national and local TV networks, and with the TV monitoring equipment just a few steps away on the third floor where I worked at the Restoration Center, we were all aware and on-alert from the get-go. The afternoon passed by, and our president passed on; the sun set and deep dusk filled the cityscape streets that we crossed after we left the building when our shift was over. Street light signals lite the way and tell us where to go, for our sense of nationhood has been rendered leaderless, and the darkness hovers heavily.

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