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The Communication Evolution

The Communication Evolution

 

2. telegram delivery truck
A 1910 Western Union driver gets ready for a busy day delivering telegrams. 

 

A trip down telegram lane

I’ve always loved the idea of telegrams, so much so that I’ve used “faux” telegrams for numerous Col. Littleton emails. As a young man, I guess the telegrams that would have interested me most would go something like . . . Dad (stop) Send money (stop) or even better . . . Dad (stop) Send money fast (stop) which reminds me of a time in 1964 when I was in Coast Guard Boot Camp stationed at Cape May, New Jersey.

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The Colonel prepares for a wild weekend at the 1964 World’s Fair while on leave from Coast Guard boot camp.

The World’s Fair was going on in New York City. We had a leave and nowhere to go, so a couple of my friends and I decided on a whim that we should go to the World’s Fair. No money – no problem. One of my friends knew this girl who worked for Kodak in New York City. Kodak had apartments for business guests/employees and she “maybe” knew of a place we could sleep on the floor. So, on this scanty information we pooled our meager resources and got a cab driver to take us to New York City. We were pretty trusting because when we got there we paid the driver in advance to pick us up three days later at the corner where he dropped us off. After paying the cab driver, I arrived in NYC with $3. I’m sure my friends didn’t have much more.

But, we had an ace in the hole. We knew if worst came to worst, we could wire home for cash. (I’m sure that would have thrilled my Dad.) But, amazingly enough, we did find the girl who had a place where we could sleep on the floor. She even gave us some food. I spent three days in NYC on three dollars and the cab driver actually picked us up at the designated location for the return trip. Really, I’m not making this up. Guess the old saying is true that God looks after children and fools, which is good because I’m not sure my dad would have received an SOS telegram in time to save us from ourselves.

While letter writing as a form of communication allows people to say everything they need or want to say without regard for length, a telegram forced people to say what they needed in as few words as possible. Telegrams were charged based on the number of words so every word needed to mean something. Ever wonder why the word “stop” is inserted into old telegram copy? For some odd reason, punctuation cost more than the word.

The telegram reminds me a little of modern-day Twitter.   You’re given just 140 characters to say what you need to say, but you can tweet 20 times in a row, and you can tweet to millions of people at the same time – the wonder of modern technology.

I Have iPad-itis

I have a confession to make about technology. I love my iPad®. I can record my thoughts the second I have them and revisit them when I have time. I can look things up in an instant. I can travel anywhere I want to go. The world is before me on a 12.9” screen of pure, technological genius. I can design products on the iPad®. I can send stuff to people all over the world. I can get emails when I’m on the farm or in my workshop. I can be anywhere I want to be and people can still reach me. They can’t always find me, but they can reach me.

I have another confession to make. Even though I love some parts of new technology, sometimes I don’t think emails, text messages or tweets make people feel special. I miss the days when people talked to each other or sent handwritten letters. I missed out on the era when telegrams were hand delivered by messenger boys. I can imagine during that time that people looked forward to written announcements of weddings and births. But, I guess telegrams came with a mixture of anticipation and foreboding. To come by wire, it must be either “really good” or “really bad” news. A lot of people kept their telegrams, and they’ve been handed down from generation to generation.

 

4. babe
Babe Ruth’s widow, Claire, receives a condolence telegram from the legend’s publicist.

 

No matter what inventors come up with next, I’m always going to be a believer in making people feel special. Fax machines, email, smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram all serve a purpose and we’d be hard-pressed to live without them; but, they’ll never be as satisfying as sitting in my old chair with my Writing Board on my lap, a stack of stationery and my favorite pen in hand writing something just for the person on the other end of the envelope. I even like licking the stamp (well, I used to before they made them peel-off) and putting the note in the mailbox.

No Tweeting For The Colonel

I’m a believer in the fact that you don’t have to go on and on about something. Some of the best stories or sentiments are short and to the point. In that way, I guess I could be great at Twitter; but for some unknown reason my associates at Col. Littleton won’t allow me to tweet. Years ago I heard a joke that went like this, “You know the three forms of communication? Telephone, Telegraph and Telawoman.” Now, you see why they won’t let me Tweet. Sorry ladies – I do realize that men talk as much as women. My wife tells me that every time she sees me on my iPhone®.

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One of the Colonel’s favorite things, sitting in his favorite chair writing personal notes, or “Colonelgrams” as we like to call them.

Telegrams were the first form of communication that could get from one place to another faster than any person could deliver it. The Pony Express, which I also greatly admire, was replaced by the invention of the telegraph machine in 1861. The last telegram was sent from Western Union in 2006 and India sent its last telegram in 2013. Gone are the images from old movies where the postman hurriedly rummaged through his leather satchel to retrieve a telegram. These days, if you’re feeling really nostalgic, you can order one online and have it delivered through the postal service.

Here at Colonel Littleton, we have a telegram system of sorts. We may not be able to travel to your front door personally, but we think of our products as a special delivery from us to you. We hope you feel that special attention has been paid to your order. We hope you feel that lot of heart and soul went into your Col. Littleton package. And, we hope you feel our appreciation for each and every Col. Littleton customer.

 

 

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Dear Colonel 2/24/17

Dear Colonel 2/24/17

LETTERS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS – UPDATED 2/24/17 1/23/17 I want to hear from YOU. Send me your letters and pictures. – Colonel Email us at [email protected] Or, Mail to Colonel Littleton, 755 Abernathy Rd, Lynnville, TN 38472 Feel free to include a picture of your product, too.  (Even better if you’re in it!) READ MORE CUSTOMER LETTERS… Continue Reading

Colonel’s 2017 New Year’s Philosophy

Colonel’s 2017 New Year’s Philosophy

A new year is on the horizon.  It stretches out before us like an endless highway, beckoning us on an exciting journey.  It is a new beginning – a time for reflection.  I’ve never been a big believer in New Year’s resolutions as such.  Sometimes they’re quickly made and just as quickly broken.  But, I… Continue Reading

CREATING TOMORROW’S HEIRLOOMS

CREATING TOMORROW’S HEIRLOOMS

What’s happened to our family heirlooms? I’m sure when families gathered on Thanksgiving, the conversations drifted toward memories that were special and significant. “Remember that pocket watch Daddy loved so much?  Whatever happened to it?  Remember how proud Mama was of her collection of baking tins?  Does anyone know where they are?  And what about… Continue Reading

Colonel’s Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Colonel’s Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Like lots of folks, I’ve always pictured Thanksgiving as a time when a one-horse sleigh traveled through the woods to grandma’s house where family gathered to eat turkey and the trimmings from a big platter. When everyone was nice and stuffed, the family would gather around the fireplace in the sitting room and enjoy being… Continue Reading

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Our 2017 Catalog

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Our 2017 Catalog

This holiday season marks our catalog’s 25th edition. Actually, we’ve been in business 30 years; however in our first few years we didn’t have the products or the resources to produce a catalog. Over the years, just about everything has changed from the size, printing, binding, product selection, etc. We work hard to produce this… Continue Reading

Dear Colonel 12/5/16

Dear Colonel 12/5/16

LETTERS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS I want to hear from you. Send me your letters and pictures. – Colonel Email us at [email protected] Or, Mail to Colonel Littleton, 755 Abernathy Rd, Lynnville, TN 38472 Feel free to include a picture of your product, too.  (Even better if you’re in it!) READ MORE CUSTOMER LETTERS – DEAR COLONEL 10-7-16 Continue Reading

Dear Colonel 9/2/16

Dear Colonel 9/2/16

Letters From Our Customers Mike S. shared this with us on Facebook…what he calls “Bentley Tote perfection.”   Colonel rarely meets a picker he doesn’t like, but every now and then somebody really stands out, and that’s the case with this guy. Meet Colonel’s new favorite artist, John Hound Brown, a good ole southern storyteller… Continue Reading

Col. Littleton Trunk Show Sets Off Fireworks in NC

Col. Littleton Trunk Show Sets Off Fireworks in NC

It was a festive 4th of July weekend for Colonel and his team who visited The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC for the Col. Littleton Trunk Show. Nestled among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this grand resort hotel is over 100 years old and breathtaking. Fireworks lit up the nighttime sky while sparks were flying, you could say, inside… Continue Reading

Dear Colonel 6/16/16

Dear Colonel 6/16/16

LETTERS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS   Tommy Harrison shares his “15 minutes of fame” with his Col. Littleton No. 3 Grip Bag: –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  – IF YOU… Continue Reading

Col. Littleton Supports Children’s Music Program

Col. Littleton Supports Children’s Music Program

Have you ever seen a cuter group of violin virtuosos than this group from Richland Elementary School in Lynnville? (Front row, fifth from left is Kaitlyn, daughter of Josh Green, Leathersmith and Hide Specialist at Col. Littleton)  Photo courtesy of CWN Community Arts Academy Col. Littleton partnered with Martin Methodist College in their OpporTUNEity Music… Continue Reading

Gifts For Women

Gifts For Women

  GIFTS FOR WOMEN BENTLEY TOTE Whether headed to the office, to the hunt, to the market, to the game or for a day and evening in the city, she’ll love the generous capacity, sophisticated good looks and versatility of The Bentley. CAMP BRACELET Rugged bridle leather bracelet with a campfire feel. Available in three sizes.… Continue Reading

Gifts For Men

Gifts For Men

GIFTS FOR MEN NO. 2 SHAVE KIT This is not your usual “pop-open” shave kit. The combination of leather and canvas produce a shave kit pleasing to the eye and durable enough to withstand the rigors of travel for years. Even when this one is road-tested and battle-scarred, it will still have a look of… Continue Reading

Colonel’s Christmas Poems and Story

Colonel’s Christmas Poems and Story

COLONEL LOVES CHRISTMAS TIME! That’s probably because it’s the perfect time to tell stories, which Colonel loves to do. You can listen right here to two of his own Christmas stories that he recorded just for you. Then read his favorite poem written by Eugene Field, “Jest ‘Fore Christmas.” Click below to listen, and you’ll get a good ole taste of Christmas spirit with… Continue Reading

Brands As Art

Brands As Art

“Art takes many forms. At Col. Littleton you might say we have a new type of “brand awareness.” Having been in the leather business for many years I have come to appreciate the artistry of rancher’s brands . . . so much that I have designed and have a patent pending on a concept to bring this… Continue Reading

The Pocket Journal

The Pocket Journal

The New No. 27 & No. 28 Pocket Journals.   Choose the one that works best for you: No. 27 Pocket Journal Outside Dimensions: 6″H x 4″W Pocket Journal holds 5 1/2″H x 3 1/2″W journal fillers. No. 28 Pocket Journal  Outside Dimensions: 8 3/4″H x 5 1/4″W Pocket Journal holds 8 1/4″H x 5″W journal fillers.… Continue Reading

Milky Way Farm

Milky Way Farm

The Giles county countryside is looking beautiful as ever as the leaves turn and autumn greets us. This is a great time of year to visit our neighbors down the road, MILKY WAY FARM, so we thought we would tell you about them and take you on a little tour. Milky Way Farm is indeed… Continue Reading

Now Shipping to 36 Countries

Now Shipping to 36 Countries

Colonel can’t exactly fly the plane himself, but we do have a way to deliver to 36 countries. For any questions about international shipping, please email [email protected] TO ORDER: 1. Shop our website and add products to checkout cart. 2. Click on “Cart” in the website header to review products. 3. Look below cart total and click… Continue Reading

Final Touches to the Tavern Restoration

Final Touches to the Tavern Restoration

It was over a year ago when Colonel first laid eyes on a sad, decaying building that didn’t seem worthy of another look. But, the walls spoke of history that could not be overlooked. Luckily, the building was framed with original materials that could be saved, and Colonel’s vision led him and a team of craftsmen on the… Continue Reading

Stencil Boards

Stencil Boards

When it comes to historic restoration, it’s not unusual to face some challenges along the way. Colonel and the team have had their share during this project.  But, Colonel felt quite lucky with a particular surprise that showed up – something he’d never dream of finding. The Legacy of Moses Eaton Comes to Lynnville, Tenn. Payton Hewitt made a rare… Continue Reading

Andrew Jackson Tavern Chimney

Andrew Jackson Tavern Chimney

One of the most laborious parts of the tavern restoration was building the chimney by hand. A large portion of the reclaimed rock that had been stockpiled on Foxfire Farm was used to build the chimney. Payton and Colonel decided it should be about 28 feet high, reaching a few feet above the rooftop. Watch the video as the chimney is built from the… Continue Reading

Andrew Jackson Tavern Restoration – 19th Century Windows

Andrew Jackson Tavern Restoration – 19th Century Windows

The Art of Replacing 19th Century Windows One of the challenges to this building was that all the windows had to be replaced. Colonel and Payton reached into their supply of materials and found just what they needed to build new ones. New, but old – in the same style as the rest of the restoration on the building. Watch the video… Continue Reading

Col. Littleton in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

Col. Littleton in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

Pick up the July issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine and you’ll see Colonel and the town of Lynnville on page 50! They’ve included us in their article detailing “Three Charming Day Drives.”  Some of our neighbors are mentioned as well – Whitehorse Trading Company, Soda Pop Junction, Tenn South Distillery and the Lynnville Railroad Museum. Click on… Continue Reading

The Andrew Jackson Tavern – First Impression

The Andrew Jackson Tavern – First Impression

Colonel Littleton is a preservationist at heart with an appetite for restoring old buildings and preserving the history and the stories so deeply woven into the crevices of their walls. It’s disheartening for him to watch these buildings fall to neglect. Because, “Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever,” says Colonel.  But, when does Colonel decide to take on… Continue Reading

Colonel and the Tavern – A Love Story

Colonel and the Tavern – A Love Story

Colonel is Featured in County Life Magazine Fern Greenbank, publisher of County Life Marshall Magazine and community storyteller, wrote a wonderful article about the Colonel saving the Andrew Jackson Tavern and the history that goes along with it . . . Fern writes, “The colonel is known to love good old-fashioned stories and, well, anything old. This… Continue Reading

Father’s Day Stellar Dad Tribute

We enjoyed reading and appreciate all the entries we received for our Father’s Day “Stellar Dad” Tribute. Congratulations to Philip Kresler, our overall winner who will receive a personalized No. 2 Shave Kit. Runners-up, who will receive a personalized No. 5 Foxfire Knife, include Rodger Klein, Michael Alltrop and Michael Boggs. Winners will be contacted… Continue Reading

Command Car Restoration

Command Car Restoration

THE DISCOVERY Having been a long-time aficionado of anything with wheels, and especially military vehicles, it was no surprise to anyone (especially my wife) that I ended up acquiring a 1941 Army Command Car. As you can see in these pictures, it was in need of more than a tune up. After receiving a lead from a friend, I found myself driving… Continue Reading