‘December 31, 2018
By Arthur H. Gunther III
The painting shows an old colonial house, still occupied and happily, I suggest. There is cozy warmth from the fireplace, as you can see from the smoke. The windows are dark, so it is daylight. Set in a green field and under a blue sky, the home appears to be thriving.
But one thing is missing: The power line is not connected — transmission is at the pole but not to the colonial.
Is that deliberate? Is this a “Twilight Zone” episode of old? Is the painting both of the past and of the future? Is the house to enter the modern age with electricity?
Will the chimney then lose its smoke trail and be used for the central heating afforded by electricity? Will the dark windows light up in daytime?
Ah, and what of the people inside? What will connecting their cozy abode to the grid do to them? It will make life easier but also more complicated. There will be a utility bill and never-ending rate hikes. Appliances will be added at cost, with future repair. Good grief, next will come a telephone line, the Internet, smartphones that do not need the utility pole.
No one will look at the old fireplace, except as a background for a selfie. The green field surrounding the colonial might go brown because no one is cutting the grass — too busy using electrons.
“Twilight Zone?” Could paint out the pole and start all over.
The writer is a retired newspaperman. firstname.lastname@example.org