Jack’s weekly guest blog is back – and so is he!


the_internet_it_crowdI often hear people complaining about various aspects of the Internet including spam emails, intrusive Facebook and the lost art of letter writing.

But, to be honest, I have no complaints at all! I find it hard to remember what life was like before we had the Worldwide Web. If I try I can recall when the college where I worked just had an intranet and I had a dial up connection at home, but before that I suppose I must have used the telephone a lot (and wrote letters).

What brought this to mind is the last ten days I spent back in Scotland for the funeral of Davy Lockhart. The start was me trying to book flights at short notice with no success and getting a phone call in the middle from a kind lady at the agency whose website I was on. She went the extra mile for me when I explained I had to go to Scotland to attend an old friend’s funeral. A few days later I was being treated like royalty all the way from Knoxville to Edinburgh – agents waiting at gates to whisk me to timely connections, fast-tracked through customs, the works.

Facebook became the easiest way for all Davy’s scattered friends to find out what had happened, too, and what the arrangements were. I’m quite sure the reason the Church was packed out was partly because of that. While there I stayed partly with my friends Mike and Harry Ward and the rest of the time with another old friend Colin Stuart. These friendships, like many others are also kept alive partly through easy communication via the internet.

Now that most airports have wireless networks I was able to keep everyone on both sides of the Atlantic up to date with my progress, and through a Twitter friendship with Blackwell’s Bookshop in Edinburgh was able to pre-order a book that Wendy lusted after and pick it up when I was there.

Meanwhile I have, over the last few years, re-established contact with many old friends almost by accident through serendipitous ‘crossroads’ on Facebook.

So – for an old curmudgeon and an avid book reader – I am an unapologetic champion of that interwebby thing.

Lang may its lum reek!


  1. Sorry on the passing of your friend. From: “Wendy Welch, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap” To: ka8ika@yahoo.com Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 6:13 PM Subject: [New post] WHY THIS BOOKSELLER LOVES THE NET #yiv8501753992 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8501753992 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8501753992 a.yiv8501753992primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8501753992 a.yiv8501753992primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8501753992 a.yiv8501753992primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8501753992 a.yiv8501753992primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8501753992 WordPress.com | wendywelch posted: “Jack’s weekly guest blog is back – and so is he! I often hear people complaining about various aspects of the Internet including spam emails, intrusive Facebook and the lost art of letter writing.But, to be honest, I have no complaints at” | |

  2. Dear Jack, Since my return from Britain and meeting you and Wendy at Parnassus in Nashville, I, too, have become caught up in Facebook. Was already caught up in email. It is not like “the good old days!” But it IS good – as we have found out! Best wishes to both you and Wendy!! Jean Stewart

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