• “No one ever knew they were old-fashioned; everyone always thought they were up-to-the-minute: Rickety Model T cars weren't rickety when they were invented, scratchy radio wasn't scratchy until television, and silent movies weren't a feeble precursor of talkies until there were talkies. Your two-piece telephone that demanded that you hold a cylinder to your ear while you screeched into the wall demanding a particular exchange of a harried, plug-juggling operator was the highest of high-tech. To know it was anything less would have been like acknowledging you were going to die and life was transient and you were already halfway to being a memory or worse. The real and worst tragedy of twentieth-century East Europeans: They had known they were old-fashioned before they could do anything about it.”

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