Grandpa in the year 2061
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Ron Cruger
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          Danny had recalled that squeak in the porch swing. It had been there since he could remember. Ever since Danny was five years old his warmest, most protected moments were realized sitting next to his grandfather on that old porch swing, which sat there on the front porch of the old, two story, frame house now occupied only by his grandfather. His warm and loving grandmother had passed away three years ago, leaving his grandfather alone in the big house. Danny had made it a point to visit his grandfather every Saturday afternoon. No matter where his job took him he returned Saturday afternoon to be with his grandfather.
          Late into those Saturday afternoons the two would sit on the old porch swing, Danny on the left, grandpa on the right. They would talk for hours.
          Danny had always trusted his grandfather. He appreciated the eight five years of experience the older man had gained. Danny wasn’t like most of the younger generation that merely tolerated elders. He loved his grandfather and, even at his own mature age of thirty five, knew that the old man had a unique and intelligent insight into life.
          The porch swing would gently sway forward and back as they sat and talked. The low squeak of the swing went unnoticed by both men. Somehow the squeak brought them both unconscious comfort. The soft noise represented the order of continuing life.
          On this particular Saturday the grandfather was remembering the changes that had occurred in his lifetime. Danny was interested.
          “It was ten years ago that the National Basketball Association decided to raise the baskets from ten feet to eleven feet. With most of the players being at least seven feet tall the game consisted of the players just dropping the ball into the hoop. With players growing taller each year they’re talking about raising the baskets to twelve feet in a few years.”
          “Football has undergone a giant change. Starting in 2026 they changed the game and started a new league. It was called the N.B.L. which stood for the ‘National Brawl League.’ All rules were tossed out except for the sanctity of the line of scrimmage. Everything was allowed – punching, wrestling, gouging. Television ratings for the new league were triple that of the old N.F.L. People liked the legalized violence. Team rosters consisted of one hundred and ten players to make up for the frequent injury factor.”
          “It used to be that when we bought a house that’s all we bought. Nowadays the house comes with 50-inch television/computer screens in every room. Everything is computerized including temperature, windows, shadows, even the shade of the room. The television can automatically come on at any time with bulletins of the latest news from around the world. The computer can even make it look like it’s snowing outside the house. I don’t like it.”
          “Thirty years ago the medical profession in America realized the benefits of Eastern thought and methods in healing the sick and ailing. Doctors and Western practitioners joined with the philosophy of the East. A new diagnostic machine, the ‘Body, Stress and Mind Analyzer,’ was created. The machine analyzes the whole body, various internal organs and severe stress points in the body. After printing the computerized results a trained analyst reviews the print out and then works closely with the patient to find out the cause of the body’s malfunction. The first question asked of the patient is, ‘What do you think is bothering you?’ The result of the joining of the Eastern and Western medical philosophies is the finding that all body and mind malfunctions have a psychosomatic and stress basis.”
          “With the technical advances made in lie detectors and DNA analysis the prosecution of criminals has changed during the past four decades. Conviction rate of murderers and other serious crimes increased greatly. Housing of criminals changed. A three thousand square mile area between Lubbock, Texas and Roswell, New Mexico was created to house over 50,000 convicted murderers, drug barons and other dangerous felons. Aging prisons in various states were converted to small apartments for the homeless.”
          “Thirty years ago a big change occurred in the automobile industry. Every auto built since 2020 contains a series of computers that monitor everything that car and driver does. If a car exceeds the speed limit, doesn’t make a full stop at an intersection, parks in an illegal spot, makes a dangerous turn or if the driver uses a cell phone while driving – any dangerous or unlawful action the driver makes is recorded by the computer. A video image is also made and sent to the nearest Police Performance Center and a citation is immediately sent to the driver’s home computer and smart phone. Traffic deaths since the plan started have been reduced fifty three percent.”
          “Grandpa, so much has happened during your lifetime, and look at you, you don’t look a day more than sixty years old. The new medicine has certainly helped you, hasn’t it?”
          “You bet, son. They used that ‘Body, Stress and Mind Analyzer’ on me and found out my stress points. They told me about them and a ‘psycha-doctor’ told me how to relax and get rid of the stress points. Since that day almost forty years ago I haven’t been sick. Not one day.”
          “I’m so glad, Gramps. You continue taking care of yourself. I love you and need you.”
          “I will son, I will. And remember that I love you too.”
          The grandson hugged his grandfather and slowly walked to his car. He could still hear the gentle squeaking of the porch swing as the grandfather waved goodbye.
          He would always fondly remember that sound.
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