A – Z

I’m proud to be a part of a wonderful organization called the Writers of Kern. They are having a “Blog Challenge” and I’m participating. I’m writing my normal two blogs per week but challenging myself to be prompted by the alphabet. Hope you can read all twenty six from A-Z. For more good reading check out the Writers of Kern’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/95572300558/



Many folks reading this can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a “web.” I can. And life was certainly not better. My job sucked without the internet.

The World Wide Web was invented by an English scientist, Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989. He wrote the first “web-browser” in 1990. No, it wasn’t Al Gore. However if it wasn’t for Al Gore we might not have had the internet for many years. Gore did nickname the internet as the “Information Superhighway” and he spent over two years trying to get the
“Gore Bill “ through a very ignorant congress (what’s changed?) Al Gore was familiar with the computer operations of the DOD and he thought it could revolutionize the country. The bill was known as the “1991 High Performance and Communications Act.” This legislation funded the Center for Super Computer Applications and the rest is history.

The first thing we were able to do on the internet was e-mail. WOW! How was your life different before email? My life changed overnight.

I was working in the music industry in Southern California in the early ‘80s and like most sales people I was filling out order forms for music dealers. Orders for equipment meant paperwork. Paperwork meant snail mail. Snail mail meant finding a Post Office in a strange town to mail the paperwork in big envelopes.

There was one shortcut, but a risky one. Finding a payphone and calling in sales orders.
NO…there were no cell phones either in the early ‘80s. It was also something the boss didn’t want us to do. He liked the black and white pages processed. No mistakes to blame on the phone interaction. But, if it was an important rush order I looked for a payphone.
web phone booth

Phone booths on sidewalks were scattered around Los Angeles on the main streets, the busy streets. They were also always found alongside filling stations or 7-11 stores. They were never around when I needed one. A few years later, my order forms were pre-printed in my computer and I would email them in every night from my hotel room.
Web mail

But that wasn’t the easy solution in the ‘80s.

I came out of a music store on Hollywood Boulevard one afternoon and needed a rush order shipped. I spotted a payphone a block away. It was a hot day so by the time I carried my two heavy briefcases to the phone booth I was drenched. Squeezing one brief case on the floor and balancing the other on the small shelf inside the booth, I grabbed my order pad and dialed the 800 number for St. Louis Music Company.

It was a large and important order and I needed to talk to the boss about it. The boss was the President and sole owner of the company. He was a serious guy, a no-nonsense kind of guy and a definite no sense-of-humor guy.

Just as he got on the phone two black prostitutes knocked on the window wanting me to hurry up with my call. Their outfits gave them away.
web prostitutes
I didn’t know one never uses a phone booth on Hollywood Boulevard.
Newly arrived from Indiana I was ignorant.

I smiled at them and held up the proverbial one finger, meaning just a minute. They weren’t mad, just very ornery. They decided to play “make a sandwich” with me, my briefcases and two whores. In the booth they came. At this point I couldn’t hear my very serious boss talking. There was girl-giggling, booty shaking, and a hot sweaty half-scared sales guy wondering why I left Indiana. It sounded faintly like my boss was asking me why I called him out of an important meeting. I believe I told him something about a “bad connection.”
web crowded booth

Email made my life less complicated.

And yes, I’d like to thank Al Gore for the WORLD WIDE WEB.World Wide Web

About bakoheat

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4 Responses to W is for WORLD WIDE WEB

  1. joanraymondwriting says:

    So did you get the order finished? Or did you go the snail-mail route? Ha, too funny.

  2. khotisarque says:

    Lady I know, down in LA, has two MAs but chose to work for PacBell. She’d ride her big Harley around repairing payphones. Now, there are some very sleazy places down there, and that’s where the payphones cluster, and they need frequent repairs at all times of the day and night. I once asked her if she ever felt unsafe. “Never, in those areas,” she told me. “That’s where the drug dealers work from and they depend on those payphones for their business. When I get to a phone there’s always a couple of bodyguards waiting for me, and after I fix it I get a biker escort halfway home.” But that was in the pre-cell days, may have gone downhill since then.

    Like your blogs a lot.

    • bakoheat says:

      Thanks for writing. I hated to use the pay phones next to the 7-11s or any of the small grocers. Drug dealers were always hanging nearby and needed the phones to be free. The story about the lady Harley rider who fixed pay phones is a hoot.

    • bakoheat says:

      Interesting job she had. Thanks for the comments. Loved them.

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