Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gas and Gildersleeve

Pulling up my local paper on the Internet I noticed the top story was the price of gas. The cheap stuff finally hit three dollars. Luckily I walk to work and my wife only has a two-hour round trip once a week for her classes. Our gas expenses will still be low. In any case, it reminded me of a Gildersleeve episode I listened to yesterday. Leila Ransom was leaving Summerfield to marry some gentleman she'd met over the summer. Nevermind that I would swear this storyline has been used at least once before in the series. What jumped out at me was that Leila was leaving by train. Normally such a fact wouldn't have attracted my attention because characters in the series often arrive and depart Summerfield by train. My limited reading of transportation history leaves me with the impression that train travel was past its peak by this time (1946), though still much more popular than it is today. There are countless pundits - often of the environmentalist persuasion - who insist that mass-transit will soar in popularity as gas prices rise. I don't think so. That's like the old-time radio bugs who foresee a resurgance in dramatic radio as the quality of film and television declines. I don't think so. While they both will always have a die-hard group of loyal followers, I daresay neither will ever be as culturally prominent as they were in decades past.


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