Innovation’s Cool

“When I was a young man, as young men will do, I loved innovation. Obsessed by the new, I would welcome each new thing as it came along.” Poetry by Charles Osgood.

Illustrated by Tim Campbell

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When I was a young man, as young men will do,
I loved innovation. Obsessed by the new,
I would welcome each new thing as it came along.
The attraction was so unbelievably strong
That I just couldn’t wait to go try for myself
The latest and greatest to hit the store shelf.

And as I suspected, the minute I’d try it,
I could not resist the temptation to buy it.
For I knew that the new thing would bring
about change.
Looking back, I admit that it seems a bit strange;
How the words “new” and “change” had such
magic appeal then.
But when you are young, you can’t help how you
feel then.

So I was all for it, and in that pursuit,
I acquired that fashionable new Nehru suit.
With my sense of the future, I realized, I guess,
Guys would always be dressing that way, more or less.
It just didn’t work out in that way somehow.
Millions of Nehru suits, where are they now?

As years before, I was quick to order
That audio breakthrough,
The wire recorder.
The LPs, 33 1/3 rpm,
No more 78s;
It was better than them.
And whatever happened,
It still is a riddle,
To the 45s with the big hole in the middle?

I was the very first guy on the block,
You will not be surprised,
It won’t come as a shock,
To go quadraphonic — I was into “quad,”
Which came and went quickly,
And though it seems odd,
I really believed I would be in great shape
With eight gorgeous channels of stereotape.

I remember the thrill of my Polaroid camera,
3D movies at drive-ins, and Cinerama.
The Gershwins warned us in a song
A good, longtime ago:
“The radio and the telephone
And the movies that we know
May be passing fancies and in time may go.”

They haven’t gone completely; they have obviously not.
But it’s also true that all of them sure have changed a lot.
Radio and television still both keep on giving.
(Thank goodness, or I don’t know what I’d do to make
a living.)
That is a reality nobody can ignore.
Change still comes today, even more quickly than before.

I’m not a young man anymore.
We are grandparents now.
But we have such simple pleasures
As our ages will allow.
We love seeing our grandkids,
But please don’t stereotype,
Not on our laps, but laptops
With a little help from Skype.

From anywhere around the world,
I watch lots of baseball, too.
It’s amazing with a SlingBox the things
you can do.
I’ve got pictures on my iPhone
And my iPod music, too.
So I haven’t changed that much, you see,
And I’m nobody’s fool.
I’m still into exciting things.
Innovation’s cool!

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