I am going to reveal a character trait that was with me for many, many years. Heck, it still may still occasionally “plague” me, even though I am very aware of how I have lived with this bothersome issue for most of my life. I have had brief examples of overcoming this issue.

Modern gadgets; more specifically cellphones, and even more specifically, cameras built-in to cell phones, tend to make me stay away from the newest technology. My dilemma has been too fancy equates to too complicated for my tastes! 

I have told you, readers in Our Town and far beyond, several times when I get a writing inspiration, sometimes I then follow up that “idea bolt” by typing a Saturday installment. I recently told you our oldest son, Allan, 44, certainly unaware, provided me several ideas for topics now written in 2021. Well, credit this time goes to our “favored” (and only) daughter and oldest child, Michelle, 46. We were having one of our frequent telephone conversations, when I told her the brief (i.e., Reader’s Digest/Cliff Notes) version about me acquiring a new iPhone a few summers ago. I will now recreate the same event with you, dear folks.

My bride, Lady Deborah, and I, took an extended, guided land excursion, circumventing beautiful Switzerland, a few summers ago, traveling with the vendor, Insight Gold. We had used them a few years earlier, when we circumvented Iceland, and had enjoyed that trip. So, our Swiss trip began/concluded in lovely Zurich, and our traveling guests came from several international nations. The majority, however, were Americans, and since the group was only about 35 travelers, my bride and I became friends with most of our fellow adventure-seekers in just a few days. One of the American fellows we met, early on, was Buddy For years and years, Buddy and his wife, had lived in New York City, and he had owed a successful camera store, located in mid-town Manhattan. He told us his store carried all types of photographic equipment, including a wide variety of cameras. Many of his clients were repeaters, and they purchased expensive equipment from his store. Buddy was very personable and extremely knowledgeable about all phases of photography, traits absolutely necessary for his successful NYC business. He had sold his business, and they retired to Southern California to be near their children. They simply loved their new home, the West Coast weather, and the casual way of life there.

Because Switzerland is probably the most beautiful country my bride and I have ever experienced, it is absolutely a photographer’s dream. For the entire time we were there, I could have closed my eyes, spun myself around, opened my eyes, then taken a different incredible picture of the awesome scenery. You may now understand how utterly delightful it was for me to have Buddy, the camera expert, as one of our traveling friends for those special Swiss vacation days! 

Now, for the punch line of this week’s writings.

Since I have been excited about photography my entire life, a few days into this particular trip, I had noticed Buddy was only taking photos with his cell phone camera. Remember, for reference, this is a former Big Apple camera salesman that had been in the photography business forever! So, being the question-guy I have always been, I asked him why no camera brought along? I would have thought he would have packed a camera with a huge lens, so he could capture a fly’s image a mile away? Buddy gave me the simplest answer possible. “I don’t need one.” “This modern cell phone takes excellent pictures,” he said. To prove his point, several times each day, he showed or I asked to see, his many cell phone shots. With each viewing, I could barely believe how beautiful the images were!

Add to it, the ease of carrying the small and relatively light device, the situation caused me to talk endlessly to my bride about Mr, Buddy’s incredible cell phone pictures!

Being the sweet lady my bride has been for over 40 years, she helped quiet me down after we returned to Our Town from lovely Switzerland. She pulled a magical rabbit out of her wizard hat, and totally surprised me with an unexpected gift.

A new cell phone, with its incredible camera, just in case you were still wondering what I received?

Thank you, Michelle, for, unexpectedly, reminding me to relive my mind’s eye memory of this most special time.

Robert Breedlove is an Oklahoma State University news-editorial journalism graduate. He lives and has lived in Stillwater, most of his life. He has been a contributing writer for various media outlets, including the Stillwater News Press, for years. Comments are welcomed at dermrefmd@aol.com.

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