By Jim Magdefrau

Technology is getting us through these challenging times.

It’s also kind of weird.

With distancing and masking, one just can’t walk into a board of supervisors meeting. I rely on YouTube to cover the board. The difference between online and real life is that you can zoom past the boring parts. The meeting in YouTube also generates automatic text. It’s really helpful, and again entertaining.

Somehow my name came up in a meeting, and the system recognized “Magdefrau” as “McProud.”

That’s better than what it did with “ground up asphalt.” It came across as “ground up a**hole.”

* * *

Zoom meeting with Chuck Offenburger

Technology. I had my first Zoom meeting in years. It took me back to my corporate days of clicking, clicking and remembering to mute my microphone when I’m not talking, otherwise it will create feedback. It was a state committee meeting for newspapers, with people I’ve followed, respected and with whom I’ve become friends. It was good to see some of the retired colleagues getting back into the game on a limited scale, like me.

Through Zoom we saw our colleague’s home offices. Monroe and Offenburger exchanged stories of cornmeal mush. Spurgeon’s office has a huge baseball mural in the background. Morain had a huge collection of books, which is no surprise.

Somebody asked, so I obliged, and played them the opening riff of “House of the Rising Sun” on guitar. I’m sure that’s a first. And probably a last.

We are hoping that by February, we can all get together again for our state convention. If not, I’ll work on my best “Zoom” face.

* * *

All the best to fall sports for our high schools. We’re not sure if or when Benton can have a home event with the combination of Covid-19 and derecho damage. They are pressing on, which is a reflection of their character, and neighbor schools are showing their character by letting Benton use their facilities for their “home” events.

It brings out the best in all.

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