Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 20, 2010

Chalk to Electronic

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Stock prices are transmitted immediately these days.  You can check quotes electronically.  Television stations keep you abreast of minute changes.  My, how the world has changed!

As I watched these quotes on the streamer at the bottom of the television screen, I recalled the way it was in the early 1950s.  I had gone to work at the Royal-Liverpool Insurance Group.  I began as the mail clerk, moved to file clerk, and then was a Junior Underwriter.  It was in the middle of Atlanta.  Busy, busy place!  And the building was not air-conditioned!  With windows up, the steam from the street  would reach the open windows on the second floor.  And the noise was deafening!

When lunch break would come, I would eat my bag lunch quickly in the company lounge, and then scurry downstairs to the street!  At the street level of our building was the stock exchange.  The doors folded back where you could stand on the street to see the quotes on the board.  There were some chairs, but these were primarily reserved for various brokers.  In the winter, the doors were closed, but you could go inside and stand around the walls.

The front wall was one large blackboard!  It reached from wall to wall and from the ceiling to within about four feet of the floor.  Prepainted on the board were the various stock symbols.  Beside those symbols were places to write in the last quote.

I had a boyhood friend who worked there.  Along with several other young men, he would respond when a quote was shouted from the desk.  Immediately, the young man positioned closest to that stock symbol would use the chalk eraser to clear the last quote, and record the new one.  This was done with speed.  Often, the quotes could change several times within a minute of so.  It was tedious and demanding work. 

I did not own stock . . . and understood little about it, but I was fascinated.  There was an excitement and aura about the place.  I was always disappointed to leave and return to work for fear I would miss something dramatic.

Now I sit in the comfort of my home and receive electronically these quotes.  And it is faster than that eraser and chalk!  We have come a long way!

Everywhere we look, processes and communication have changed.  My friend lived to see those changes . . . and to be part of the management.  Would he believe that today you can get it through your cell phone and other devices?

There are good changes . . . yet there are some things that never change.  I am so thankful for some constants in life.  With all the good changes, we still need to know that some things have never changed, never will, and should not.  The one necessary constant . . . and forever permanent . . . is my Lord and His Word.  There is no need for change in Him or His Word.  It is the everlasting truth!  He is something we can depend on as eternal!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)  ” . . . the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”  (1 Peter 1:23)

Lawson

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