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May 13, 2004

note received may 13, 2004

Notes from my 8000 mile round trip from San Jose to my son’s wedding in Massachusetts. April 4-April 29, 2004.

Route from San Jose to Boston and return

April 5 Meteor crater, Arizona.

In 1904 a prospector laid claim to the meteor crater hear Winslow Arizona. He thought he could mine it and fine precious metals left by the impact. However, he went broke after 26 years of fruitless exploration (though chunks of metal were found miles from the crater.) His relative commercialized the site in the 1930’s and now it is a historic landmark. I stopped in the RV park near the crater and talked with Del, a seasonal employee. He went from RV park to park during the year and worked in maintenance. This park was featured on the local tourist radio 1610 on the AM dial if you are heading into Winslow. They advertised wireless Internet access. Del said they are just putting in Wi-Fi and he had not seen this offered in m many parks yet. Though most had some kind of access. This place had a gas station, subway sandwich shop, and rock shop plus a lounge for RV park people. It contained a dialup line and PC, as well as a TV and foosball. I asked him if many people had PC’s. Some, not all. Few have wireless cards, and he said those who do have it will do wardriving in big cities for free access. There will be no charge for the Meteor RV Park access.

Heavy rain as I drove east, slacking up a bit when I headed south at Holbrook, and an hour later I was at the White Mountain Legal Aid office in Pine Top, Arizona. This area is a mix of whites and Apaches who have a reservation. Kim Robinson runs a law office that serves people with an income that does not exceed 125% of the poverty level. The walls have posters about domestic violence, how to apply for some kinds of funds for victims of different crimes (only for legal residents of the U.S.) Kim worked for many years with a tribe in southern Arizona, the Tohono O’odam. They live on both sides of the US-Mexico border and by treaty the ones in Mexico should be eligible for American citizenship too. As it is they do get some services from the American side. Kim made me realize how complex the legal issues are for Indians, for tribes, and this dates from early legislation that took jurisdiction for certain serious crimes from Indian courts and placed them in federal courts.

Kim lives on the White Mountain Apache reservation in a wood-heated cabin in a pine forest. Some of these had been leased to non-Indians. After the lease expired many moved away rather than pay the increased fees. The elevation is about 7700 feet, and there was snow on the ground yesterday. The cabin is cold when we got there, and Kim built a fire from juniper and pine logs, and we had a dinner of homemade tacos. It’s great to listen to his stories about work on the rez, about his past working for INI in Mexico. The National Indigenous Institute is like our Bureau of Indian Affairs. He also visited Ecuador when his brother Scott and some others owned a 300 acre tropical farm on the Rio Napo in the Amazon basin. Internet access does not seem to be a big priority on this reservation.

April 6 Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico

After ten years I have returned to this reservation where I was involved in a couple of computer projects with the middle school and the high school. One failure in 1993 was a RAN, a Reservation Area Network. The day I visited was during the school break and no staff was available.

Zuni has a large number of jewelers. I stopped in Turquoise Village, (www.turquoisevillage.com) and talked with Verna. They were selling raw materials for jewelry plus the finished goods from Zuni, Acoma,, Hopi areas, and even Mata Ortiz in Mexico. Pink coral was $50 per ounce, many different prices on turquoise. Verna said they were selling some stuff over the Internet. She did not use it herself, but she said that quite a few in the village did use it. I asked if most people still spoke Zuni (as she did) and she said yes, but a bit later she said the kids don’t speak it, just English. Young people in their 20’s do, so that seems to be the cutoff. They would have been in school when we were doing our multimedia Zuni dictionary project.

I talked with young women from the health service who were outside the tribal offices promoting “Life Direction” program which was a preventative health and exercise program. They had signed up over 1000 people from the pueblo (pop about 6K) so far. I asked if they advertised on the Internet and they said no. However they did use the local radio station.

For some reason there is a tradition of Arab traders working in Indian country. Mohammed at Pueblo Traders is from Jordan. I had bought a ring here about ten years ago. He claimed to recognize me though he had moved here in 95 and now was running this shop He had also lived for a couple of years in Caracas. More examples of the Palestinian diaspora. Business was slow, and he said he did not have the staff to try and sell anything over the Internet.


I met author David Stuart whose Guayamas Chronicles I had enjoyed a few weeks ago. (See an earlier entry in this journal). He is vice-provost and also teaches anthropology at University of New Mexico. We met across the street from the campus at a great coffee shop-bookstore called Flying Star. It has free Wi-Fi access, and a few people seemed to be using it.

As a young man in Mexico he was studying anthropology. There was a coffee shop near the American Embassy where he was served his first cappuccino. He noticed a man sitting at a table writing each day that he was in there. He asked the waiter what he was doing, and the waiter said the man was writing a book. Would he like to meet him? David said yes, and the writer introduced himself as Octavio Paz (Labyrinth of Solitude). He said he could not afford a big place with a good space to write and besides, writing was a very lonely business. So David has a very famous role model because he wrote his books in long hand at a corner booth at the Flying Star.

I told him I had read two other journals after his (Taussig’s and Roll Me Over, a WWII infantryman’s notes from Normandy and the invasion of Germany. All of them affected me greatly. That’s why I went out of my way to meet David. He said he had taken good notes as a young man in Guayamas, and at a time when he had cancer and was not sure he would be around, he knew he had to get that story told. Working with his notes as mnemonic aides, he used a tape recorder to make many hours of detailed memories about this important period in his life. These were later transcribed, and after his surgery was successful, he felt like he’d just get on with his life, and this tale lay dormant for many years.

He filled me in on the reception the book had. The royalties go to the survivors mentioned in the book, and he took copies when he returned after its publication. Even people who could not read English were glad to possess a copy. Some of the elite in the town were not at all happy about the book because they did not come off well. David said he had not anticipated his colleagues and others at UNM buying it, but it has been popular.

We talked about how little continuity there is in modern life, at least here in America, but he has kept in touch with the daughter born to the woman who broke his heart, and she reminds him of the homeless girl he befriended. There was so much more to tell that David is doing a sequel with a lot more details about the whorehouses as well as what happened when he returned as he has promised.

We only met for an hour, but it encouraged me to write more. He said the process of immersing himself in the past, using his notes, was very intense. Almost a proustian experience. I gave him copies of my newsletter, noting how superficial they seem because I’m flitting from one place to another whereas he stayed, got very involved, and it became a part of him.

April 7 Clarendon, Texas, Texas Panhandle.

local radio station: the Great Plains Farm Show.
“howdy and welcome to the show.”
Sponsor: Dupont, Cimmaron herbicide.
The ad: A cow calls up a farmer, poses as the farmer’s wife and pleads for more grass for the herd because a neighbor is getting a better yield by using Dupont Cimmaron. The farmer assents not realizing his wife is in the next room. The cow moos as the line is cut.

Ad: RFDTV carries livestock auctions. A rep from Superior Livestock Auction is telling about the upcoming offering of 12,000 Florida calves. “You can get us on cable networks, Dish, and we are streaming over the Internet. You can pull up pictures of the calves and hear the auctioneer real time.” Calfster? Herdnet?

Mangum, Greer County Oklahoma

My mother, one of fourteen kids, was born and raised here. It was another dying midwestern town in the 60’s and is still losing population. I spent a couple of years here as a very little kid, during World War II.

Coronado passed through Greer County in 1541. The Querecheos, the Wuerecjo, and the Tejas also grazed and hunted in this area 400 years ago. In the 1830’s it was used by the Wichitas, Keechis, Comanches, Kiowas, and Lipan. From 1895 to 1907 it was part of Indian territory. Greer County was part of the Republic of Texas and had been claimed by Mexico. Mangum was a Captain in the war between Republic of Texas and Mexico. Veterans were granted land, and he got a bonus of 320 acres. My great grandfather H.W. Sweet, a civil engineer from Dallas (born n Sangamon Co. Illinois in 1838) , surveyed the land for Mangum and got some of the lots.

I had not been here since 1968 when I drove a Cadillac Coup de Ville from Chicago to Beverly Hills for a rental company. The town square is still the main focus of these small towns, and even though many of the storefronts are vacant, the parking area around the post office, city hall, and bank were filled with new pickups and a few older sedans. I stopped first at the library where an old lady was substituting. She had retired from teaching In Arizona (on the Navajo rez and in Yuma (‘you can be sure there are terrorists coming across the border. Our people try to stop the flow, but they are just streaming across.” she told me) I helped her with the computer program that checks books in. It was a small system that was not fully automatic. There were a few public access computers, but nobody was using them.

I headed to the genealogy section and read some of the informal histories of the county and the town. There were old marriage licenses in storage and a great deal of material from surrounding towns in Greer County. Nobody else was in the place except an adult Indian who was the adopted son of the white woman at the desk.

She had moved to Mangum to take care of her father. He’s 102 and living in a Mangum nursing home. Her sister and daughter came to visit from Dallas, and I spoke with them. A granddaughter who had been raised in Mangum was student teaching and hoped to get her degree in a couple of months. She hoped to find work in a bigger town nearby.

tengallonAffinity group on the Great Plains: Mangum’s Ten Gallon Hat Club, circa 1948

I walked around the corner to the Greer County museum, located in what had been a hospital. Some of the old equipment was on the third floor. After paying my one dollar I was free to wander the halls. Each room had a theme: Indians, the high school, church, barber shop, general store, and so on. I found old year books with a picture of both my mom and her brother George. I also found a couple of pictures of my grandfather’s general store. Mr Sweet, my great grandfather, was the surveyor of what became Mangum, and his relatives are all over the place. Again, I was the only person in the museum at the beginning, and I enjoyed roaming the halls and picking up some of the objects, all contributed by family members who had come back to bury a relative or put them in a nursing home. I could imagine everyone of them thinking, “what’ll we do with all this crap?...Let’s give it to the museum.” Patsy Smith had been running the place for two years. In 1998 she retired from working in the Harmon, OK library. We talked about ways to get some money for projects at small museums like this one. Modest as it was, I was impressed with the grass roots effort to maintain and improve it.

I went to Riverside Cemetery and drove the gravel paths until I found the Wilson plots with places for two uncles, Woodrow and Frank and my grandparents Ashley and Lucy. A big headstone showed a Conestoga wagon, and the family was designated “Greer County Pioneers.” I took a few pictures and drove by the Salt Fork of the Red River but was not able to find the farm land where they had lived until the 1950’s.

April 8-9 St. Louis

A long drive across Oklahoma with a stop for kayaking in the Neosha River on the first day of fishing season. Dozens of locals and out of state men are putting their rigs in the water and speeding up river, into the big lake. I’m the only one in the kayak. People are catching fish the size of first graders. They photograph them, fillet them, and toss the heads and guts into the river near the dock area. Is that pollution or recycling?

I reach St. Louis and am directed to The Youth and Family Center where Sue Beckwith is running a wireless project called Wiz Kids. She had moved from Austin (where she helped establish Austin Free-Net). This project is supported by the NTIA money, but without the support of the center and its able staff, it would not have received federal money. The kids are not in school this week, so they don’t come to the center. I have time to talk with the staff, especially the director, Herman Noah. He’s about my age, and I really enjoyed our conversation. Like so many people I met I think it is too bad they are so far away. He has worked in the center for many years, but he also ran a religious radio station and was very involved with the Presbyterian church, but is less so now. He worked for a firm that helped Ron Dellums, Congressman from Oakland, California. He was raised outside of St.Louis in an area where you could keep farm animals. His first economic enterprise was raising chickens and rabbits. We talked about the kind of food people eat when they are poor. He explained to me about chittlins, and how they were free if you went to the slaughterhouse which were numerous in St. Louis’ past. He said the preparation of these was very labor intensive and from 20 lbs of intestine you might get 7 lbs of chittlins for cooking.


Staff at Youth & Family Center sample an Easter ham

I see his center as an oasis, and he keeps it from getting flooded or disappearing in the desert through grants and contracts, though they have had a budget cut. He has an enormous list of board members, all of whom are expected to support the house in some way. One fellow is helping to configure a wireless access point that Sue bought for their NTIA project.

The center has a camp that has been running for decades, and the kids who go only have to pay a registration fee. This gives them a week or more in the country, in a place they have never been, and also it give the parents a bit of a rest from the kid. I asked if the encroaching suburbs would cause them to sell the camp in order to get some income, and from his response I can see that is unthinkable. So The Youth and Family Center follows the pattern of where I think tech projects should be: in places with well-established and popular activities other than ICT. This could be a church, a non-profit like this place, or a public library. Stand-alone tech centers seem to have a much harder time.

Sue drove me around St. Louis and we visited the site of the 1904 exposition, now a huge park with free admission to the zoo, museum, and library. It was quite busy even on a workday. There are beautiful buildings all around the town, and while many houses are run down, the brick work is outstanding. This area must have been for bricklayers what Silicon Valley is to programmers. I went through part of the train station. Unlike Union Station in DC, St. Louis just has a a hotel and shops where the trains used to be.

That evening we ate at an Iranian restaurant which was quite reasonable, and then we went to a presentation about hip-hop in education at a public art and presentation center called the Commons. A young teacher, recently laid off in special education, talked about the origins of hi- hop and how he used this topic to engage and talk with the students about everything from math to values to media control.

April 12, Liverpool, New York

After an uneventful drive with a quick stop at Niagara Falls, I reach the home of Jean and Larry Polly. Their son Stephen is getting ready for entry into Rochester Institute of Technology. He’s one of these rare young people who know exactly what they was to do in life. The family had returned from a trip to Japan some weeks before. Jean, a.k.a. NetMom had given a talk at a conference on the Internet and the family. Parents were telling her about the young people who were using cell phones for all sorts of things and the parents were oblivious. Young girls were engaging in compensated dating with older men. It turns out this is a euphemism for online prostitution, but this term sort of sanitizes the activity.

Jean runs the technical side of Liverpool Public Library. They have an extensive internal and public network. Her staff has been there quite a while and is very competent. Since her arrival she has made a lot of changes to improve the efficiency of the operation. It made me realize how few places have adequate technical support for the networks they have put in place (or have been put in place by some outside group or foundation).

April 14, Harrisville, New Hampshire

I was in Coast Guard training in 1968 with John Colony. We stayed in touch over the years. His brother runs Forrester Research, a firm that does well whether the tech economy in inflating or deflating. John and his wife Pat run a historic restoration project in Harrisville, a former mill town owned by his ancestors who made a lot of money making uniforms for the Union army. As mills moved south, John helped save the place from condos or Carmel cuteness by attracting some other firms, starting a weaving business that sells to the Smithsonian shops and to serious hobby weavers. John has always been skeptical about the cost and complexity of small office systems, and he is very articulate in describing the problems for a small firm that just wants to perform certain basic business operations online. The costs of hardware and software upgrades have been onerous, and it is certainly part of a bigger problem affecting all kinds of enterprises from home offices to city governments to corporations.

We talked a lot about the economic drive that pulls jobs and factories from here to China. A friend of his ran a U.S. company that made high quality golf club heads, the last such factory in America. About eight years ago he decided to move everything to a maquiladora in Mexico. After three years, it was running smoothly, and the skill levels of the Mexican workers was advanced, the distribution network flowing, and then price pressures caused them to decide to move to China to save about $1.50 per head. Everything in Mexico was closed. We wondered where the factory would go next after China. Advanced robotics perhaps but located where?

Harrisville, New Hampshire public library

Later that day I drove to ChipWrights, a video chip company where my son is doing contract work. It’s located in Waltham, Massachusetts, a town that used to be known for its watches. I could spend another twenty pages writing about the great wedding and festivities, but I’ll limit it to a few anecdotes. Jason is long time friend of Geoff’s from Fremont, California. Jason’s father used to have an interactive TV company here in the Valley, so both Jason and Geoff were always involved in high tech trends. Jason was at the wedding and we talked about the camera phone he was using. He noted that nobody seemed to be using another Bluetooth camera phone. In the San Francisco area there were so many that Jason would be in a public place and sense the presence of other such phones and then send them a photo over the Bluetooth (not cell) connection. Usually a person would be surprised and look around to see who might have sent it. To use Institute For The Future’s term, Jason is really infomated.

The wedding was held at a contemporary art museum in North Adams, Massachusetts. This place opened in a defunct factory complex that manufactured electronic and electrical gear in the 1980’s. It was a great ceremony with lots of friends from all over the country and from Europe. Geoff and Karin had asked me to include a wine ceremony. When he was born in 1975 his mom and I made a cabernet/merlot blend and aged it, bottled it, drank some, and had enough to share during the wedding. It was still holding up. I guess I was making that about the time Jobs and Wozniak were producing the Apple I or II.

Talk shows: As during my last trip I was amazed by the vitriol of the conservative talk show hosts. One whose book in selling well is Sean Hannity. I tuned in at the time when he had just announced his switch from supporting Bush to supporting Kerry. His listeners were stunned. Bill (gamblin’ man) Bennett called it and attributed this aberration to doing three hours of talk radio each day. Bill Clinton called up and tried to enlist Hannity in the Kerry campaign. they both apologized each other for what they had said about the other. Then Hannity began berating his right wing callers just as he had snapped at Liberal callers. \I turned off the radio for an hour, and when I turned it back on he revealed that he really wasn’t backing Kerry. He wanted to show how much attention his (Hannity’s) flip-flop was getting while Kerry was not being criticized the the liberalmedia (it’s one word on these talk shows). What it showed for me is a lot of these yakmeisters are performers and are just talking positions that draw in the best audience and increase ratings. As Mort Sahl said of Hannity, “Why doesn’t Fox get a real Fascist instead of one who just plays one on TV?” I guess the part I’m still puzzling about is the “Clinton” who called in. A remarkable impersonation...or was it?

April 20 Basking Ridge, New Jersey

After the wedding festivities and a brief tour around New England with Nancy and my in-laws, I drove to see Steve Crandall and his wife Sukie. If you are reading this online, it’s because Steve has been kind enough to post of some of my journal and photos on his web log . Steve was a research scientist at AT&T until they dissolved most of their research group. He and others in a consortium of Sony, Frauenhofer, and AT&T developed the audio compression used by Apple’s iTunes, but in listening to him there were all sorts of other technologies that never became products but sounded fascinating. I knew of Steve and Sukie’s love of ferrets, but I had never even seen a live one. One room in their condo is for their ferrets, and each one they brought out seemed to have its own special personality. Sukie runs a mailing list on ferret health, and this seems to be the kind of online activity that really can’t be duplicated if you are offline: getting advice (or giving it) about a pet that most vets don’t treat often.

After meeting Steve’s colleagues at an amazing pizza restaurant and then talking more with Steve, I realize a lot of my trip is to make contact and have conversations with friends and acquaintances, even if I have to drive 3000 miles. From this journal you can tell I have not talked much with people offline in this latest journey.

Wednesday, April 21 Washington, D.C.

I left early from Basking Ridge and took the Interstate through NJ, across the huge Delaware River bridge and a short distance on the Delaware Turnpike. I drove in Maryland, stopping to rest, eat, and left the Interstate just across the Susquehanna at Havre de Grace. I had seen a pamphlet in the service area rest stop, and it looked interesting. Grand old homes, some tourist business, and a very nice library. I chatted with Paul Gerhard, a former high school librarian turned public reference librarian. His boss, Diana Dayton, was a smart, outgoing young woman. Both of them were very open. The library had about ten machines in a lab, more near the reference desk, and a decent book collection. Few people asked them to use the Internet in their behalf. If that happened they were encouraged to learn, and to take one of the free classes offered.

In Washington, DC I visited Amy Borgstrom whom I had known for ten years. She used to run an NGO in Appalachia, then spent a year plus on the beach in Hawaii and returned to the NTIA as program officer for the Technology Opportunity Program which still makes grants for innovative community technology projects around the nation. She has asked me to read grants this year, but the participants had to be online, and I am not. She filled in the e-forms for U.S. government contractor (they are getting more and more invasive) and told me I’d have to put my preliminary scores in another online form in the next couple of months. If I am not online by then, maybe Nancy can do it for me.

Amy has always been the well-organized optimist about most things in life. It certainly affects the way she approaches her work and her relations with the people applying for grants. She has to keep a log of all the phone contacts she has with grantees. I wanted to talk more about the long term outcomes of some of the projects NTIA has supported, but I left earlier than I planned.

April 23 Philippi, West Virginia

When I realized I was just 45 minutes from Philippi, I took state roads that wound past homes and trailers and auto repair shops and a few farms to reach the old covered bridge that leads into Philippi, the site of the first land battle of the Civil War. It was so early I stopped at a display of all the flags that had flown over the town and made breakfast in the parking lot. As you drive into town there is a billboard advertising the Barbour County Community Net at the edge of the county economic development building. A woman directed me to city hall to ‘talk about the Internet’ and I met Cheryl Crouse who signed people up. The city owns the power, water, cable, and Internet services (just dialup right now). $25/ month for an individual; $17 for educators, students, and families with children. CityNet provides support. She has not tales of people not wanting it, just of the movement of customers to one service and sometimes back again. She used it in her own work for the city manager, but said the web site had very little material on it. She had been arranging an outdoor event when I entered, and she said that sort of announcement would not be on the site.

The library down the block was used a lot, and people had to reserve time on the computer. When the library opened I found it to be rather quiet, but there was a single clipboard for people to book a time. At the end of the day the sheet was destroyed. I assumed no statistics were kept. An Americorps volunteer helped out with children’s programs, and Ira, an older man, helped teach kids to use the computers, and he piped up every so often with a comment.

The librarian had been there more than 20 years. She is Mormon and studied at BYU, stayed away from Philippi a while and then returned. I had met her when I was here in 1997. They had a T1 line arranged by the state library commission, though the money came from the city and was a modest sum because of e-rate.

I mentioned that I had visited in 1997, and she refreshed my memory. Ruston Siemen was still on Chestnut Ridge, the area outside of Philippi where the so-called ‘tri-racial isolates’ (mixed white, Indian, black) live. I followed her directions and made a long loop back into town. At the museum the woman running it told me which road to take and to turn at a ‘temple’ but she did not mean church, and I could not tell what she really said. I did find the place and as I drove along the ridge, some of the places came back to me. There was a lot of activity at the junction where Ruston’s organization was located. I met Shelby Dettinger, Ruston’s assistant who had been working there since October. All the people are called there by God, but it is a regular job, and they are paid. Many who come to help are on a “mission” for a week or more and help out in ways that vary from house painting to working with kids. There seemed to be a stream of projects going on at once, and the office was excited about the T1 that was going to be installed that week. Dialup was not enough for them. I had to leave before Ruston came back from “business in Virginia.”

World Vision community center on Chestnut Ridge, WV outside of Philippi

April 22 Louisville, Kentucky
I stopped in Louisville, Kentucky, where I was born and lived for seven years as a kid. I parked and walked around my neighborhood. Nostaglic moments with smells and sights triggering the names of people who lived in each house, memories of bad or stupid things I had done as a child, and of all the children playing in the streets and in back yards. My elementary school is now a condo in a gentrified shopping area. The city skyline looked a bit taller, and everyone was getting ready for Derby weekend.


“My Old Kentucky Home 1946-1952”

April 25 Kansas

I drove across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and entered Kansas on a Sunday morning. If you fold a Rand McNally map of the U.S. in half and then in quarters, the center point is around Fort Riley in Kansas. The gate to this lonely army base is being fortified. I told the guard that when I was in Berlin in the 1960’s the East German border was protected with a similar maze of concrete barriers that led to Checkpoint Charlie. I came to this base to visit the cavalry museum. It was open and there were no guards or curators. Most of it was dedicated to the history of horse mounted troops and the Indian wars that followed the Civil War.


Medal for service in Indian Wars 1865-98


Poster from Fort Riley cavalry museum

I drove off the Interstate and followed 24 across Kansas, kayaking in a large reservoir, passing through Cawker City (largest ball of twine in the world), Nicodemus, a town of 40 that had been settled by free blacks in 1877. Danny Glover narrated a historical summary of the town’s past on AM 1610. I spent the night in Goodland, Kansas, another town where major businesses have left, and the sunflower processing plant is not running at full capacity. A highlight for tourists who don’t want to stop at the nice museum (it has the first helicopter patented) is a giant easel about 50 feet tall on which is displayed a giant version of Van Gogh’s “sunflowers” visible from the Interstate.


Small towns try to stand out with unique reasons to pull off the Interstate for a visit.

I had planned to visit Steve Smith of Chase 3000 in Imperial, Nebraska. I did an article in FirstMonday on his wireless service in 2001, and I was going to return to meet a few farmers who were not online. However, the Smiths were on vacation for a few days. I talked with Aaron Greene, high school class of 2000, who was doing phone support. He lives next to the Smiths and got interested in computers when he was 13, partly by hanging around Steve. He does antenna installs, handles support, and seems to know what he’s doing from our 20 min. conversation. I asked him who did not use the Internet, and he replied, “my grandfather. He’s a retired farmer and just never wanted or needed to use a computer.” I asked how old he is, and he said “67” which, of course, does not seem old to me. Greene went to a Christian school for three years of high school and was home schooled for his final year. Just a few of the kids stay in town. Few can find relevant work like he has found. He says they have 1-2 new installs a week, down from several a day in years past. This indicates that the market is about saturated. Most of the customers stay with Chase3000. They have a mobile lab with ten laptops, and they take it around for demos, setting up the wireless connection at each stop. The lab stays at the high school and is used. Better than to let it remain idle. This company remains a good example of a community minded for profit, home grown, and supported by the customers it serves.

I stopped in the Goodland Community Learning Center on the main street. Tammy Freeman works with a man who is coach at the local high school (about 300 students). They provide remedial training for high school students who have failed a class, dropouts, people who only speak Spanish, and while Internet training is not central, it is provided on each of the ten machines sitting in the front room. This is run as a franchise with state money to pay salaries, rents, and connectivity. ESSDACK in Hutchinson, Kansas, is the HQ for the centers around the state. Tammy also works at the radio stations and ran a day care center for nine years. They were not aware of CTCNet, so I gave them the url and told them about their activities.

April 26 Denver area

I stopped in Arvada, Colorado, to see Willard Uncapher, a brilliant guy whose working on some innovative theories about networking. The library he and his wife Lisa have in their basement is amazing. I slept amongst the knowledge and awoke in the night to browse some of the collection. She is director of the art museum at University of Colorado. Their two kids, Izzy and Hannah, filled me in on just about everything. They seemed to get along as well as any brother and sister I have ever met. Another family I wish I lived near. Another reason to go back online.

April 27-28 Utah


View of Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park

I drove to the Colorado riverway outside of Moab, Utah. This is a real jock destination. All the publicity shows people climbing rocks, driving up giant boulders, kayaking through rapids, hiking across grand terrain, and every business seems oriented to these activities. I did not see a senior center or retirement homes in Moab, but then I wasn’t looking. I camped on the river one night and in Arches National Park the next. Gorgeous scenery. Early the following morning I drove 16 hours to reach San Jose by the evening of April 29.

08:09 PM in steve's letters | Permalink


What a great picture!

Posted by: Internet at Jun 7, 2008 2:05:05 PM

What I adore about this post is the house that was built years back. The architecture is great plus I love the scenery. I really enjoy watching these pictures. They are all indeed an inspiration. Thanks a lot for sharing with us. More power.

Posted by: curtis johnson at Jan 31, 2011 2:54:31 AM