July 4th – New York

Last Friday, I had the great pleasure of riding my bike, with a friend, up Bear Mountain, a legendary cycling route in this part of the country. I’m here to see my son’s new child, a strapping 8# boy, Mitchell Gibson Poll, my 11th grandchild!

The weather was great, neither too humid nor too hot. Riding with a better rider than I and one who knows the area well was a treat as I didn’t have to worry about what was beyond the next bend in the road or how to get back to our car at the end of the ride. We covered about 41 miles in 3:30 hours; the last descent was like icing on cake and the last ascent was like "just too much!" 🙂

On the way up Bear Mountain, we heard cannon from across the Hudson River and saw billowing smoke over the hills. Later, I concluded that the cadets were practicing for July 4th celebrations.

I thought cannon were to be seen at civil war battlefields only; seems we still use them Despite the advance in our technology, our war efforts continue unabated. Despite our advances in technology, it is still the human element that determines whether any single endeavor will be successful. Our skill at understanding the whole picture, of negotiating for our client by understanding the needs of the adversary and creating a situation acceptable for both sides are human characteristics that have yet to be assigned to a mechanical instrument.

While we celebrate our beginnings, we must remember that our success in the future will be based not on the technology we create, but by our ability to interact with and tolerate people with differing ideas, skin color and national origins. Our ability to do the latter seems to have diminished as our ability to create greater technological opportunities has increased.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday.


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