As a man who keeps his promises, when he remembers them, here’s my review of the Tri-Cities Mid Columbia Telephone Directory as promised from my first vlog.
I think it was the action packed cover of the helmeted man in his water vehicle going a bit fast that made me pick up this book and it certainly is just that.
As you can see from my professionally rendered technology portrait – or photo-graph to the new fangled amongst you would know it – I am having an exceedingly amusing time finding the delightfully named residents of the Tri-Cities (of which there are quite a few).
All humour – apart from my elbows – aside, what I am seen cosily clutching is much more than a weighty snigger fest, it is, like so much else in life, a social document of the here and now and one that is a source of endless fascination for me…and I’m not even that much of a numbers person.
Holding this weighty tome, I consider this to be a fascinating insight into the here and now of a place, a community and more interestingly the individual character. I like to pick a random person’s number and muse upon their life, or find a business and then look for them as I jaunt around town and see how prosperous they seem.
To me it’s a small overview into a tiny part of the overall jigsaw of society. Almost the essence of modern civilization in your hand. An intriguing thought occurs though, if we cut out all of the waste and pointless businesses (pointless in the sense of contributing something of worth to society) how much thinner would this book be and how interesting would it remain?
It would be remiss of me to not mention the numbers, hours can – and were – spent on adding up all digits of random phone numbers to see what value they would come too…it’s a playground for adding fanatics and it is actually impressive seeing the many numbers herein.
This is a book of real people’s lives, a glimpse into a certain point of time and I would argue a bit of a classic in these sorts of circles. I bet the complete set look great on the bookshelves with the lovely coloured pages and individual, dramatic front covers. It also begs the question, what other insightful tomes of daily life do we see but not notice.