The Dodson Journal

Grandpa Turn On Your IPad

Jude Dodson on iPadMy telephone rang last night at around 8:30 or so. My first thought was, “Man…another one of those computer generated calls about the latest and greatest thing that I’ve been selected to receive!” So…I picked up the phone with a rather indignant tone, with a “Hello!”  On the line I heard a high pitch little voice that said, “Hi Grandpa…turn on your IPad so we can call you.”

In just a few minutes, I had my IPad turned on and was talking with and looking at one of my 3 Grandkids. This one, Jude, lives in Florida and we don’t get to see him in person very much, so it is always a treat to visit via the IPad.

I have been amazed at how quickly he, as well as Liam my second grandson (and I’m certain that Nora, the Granddaughter will join the parade soon enough) picked up on using computers. Unlike us “old guys” they have no fear of just pushing buttons, clicking on the screen and doing this and that.

As I was taking my morning walk today, this got me to thinking about my Grandpa and what he would think about an IPad. Heck, even my Dad would think that the technologies of today are nearly magic in nature.

My Grandpa Dodson was born around 1882, so he would have been around the same age as Jude is today in 1885. I say “around” 1882 because nobody, including him ever knew for certain in what year he was born. But, we do know that he was born in central Kentucky and that he traveled, with his family from Kentucky toward the west around 1889, when he was about 7 years old in a covered wagon.


His Mom died, unfortunately about the time that they arrived in Daviess County, Indiana and my Great Grandma, Nancy Jane (Arvin) Dodson is buried in an unmarked grave in Maysville, Indiana. And, so…the Dodson brood ended up staying in Daviess County and that is what led to me being born and raised in Washington, Indiana.

When my Grandpa was around 3 years old In 1885, electricity was not a common household item, but household electricity had been invented and was literally only a couple of years away. Likewise so were automobiles, refrigeration, radios and such. I clearly remember going with Grandpa to get large blocks of ice to put in his ice box, which was standing in the kitchen corner.

In 1885 Alexander Graham Bell captured his own voice on his version of an IPad. If you want to hear his recording CLICK HERE

As for me, it would have been 1951 when I was the same age as Jude is now, and I was living in Washington, Indiana. That year, unemployment dipped to 3.3% in the US and new roads were built to take the ever increasing numbers of cars. The average family income was $3,700 per year and people had money to spend, so cars became more luxurious. More powerful engines were being added each year and options for two tone paint were all the rage. During this time things like turn signals were still an “extra” and most drivers still used hand signals to tell other drivers which way they were turning. Television continued to grow with popular programs like "I Love Lucy" and the first tests for Color Television Pictures were broadcast from Empire State Building on June 25

It will be 2075 when Jude is the same age as I am now. I wonder if he will have any grandkids. I wonder what life for him will be like 62 years from now. From covered wagons to the IPad in about 130 years. While the future might bring many technological wonders, I hope that future generations never forget where we all came from and that none of us would be here if it wasn’t for the work and sacrifices of those who came before us.



$25 Annually $100 Annually $250 Reg / $100 Annually


Sponsors are a critically important part to the success of ISC-Audubon. As a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating sustainability, we offer all of our programs to our members free of charge, and are publicly available for download on our website.

ISC-Audubon is proud to extend the opportunity to select businesses and organizations to become sponsors of our sustainability education and advocacy programs. As a sponsor, your business or organization can realize significant value.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity. 


A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

Read more

You are here: Home Blogs The Dodson Journal Grandpa Turn On Your IPad