The Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week drew a very large crowd. I can't remember the last time that many people filled the YMCA Community Room for a regular luncheon of the Chamber of Commerce.
Of course, it wasn't a regular luncheon. The mayor only comes and gives his state of the city speech once a year and this time he saved until last an acknowledgment that Brazil is no longer the city of clay and coal. But, on the other hand, it is no longer the city of bars and drunken fights every weekend.
If you don't remember those days of revelry, look up old newspapers and see what the police had to deal with back in the "good old days."
Of course, in those days, the double-wide sidewalks that were torn out when U.S. 40 was rebuilt a few years ago were needed to hold the crowds on busy Saturday nights when it seems everyone came to town to do their shopping and maybe take in a show at the various theaters downtown.
The truth is those old days were a mixture of happy and not so happy events.
It is also true that the only constant is change. That has always been true.
As Simon and Garfunkel told my generation, "The Times They Are a Changin'"
"Come writers and critics
Who prophesies with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'."
We don't want to forget the past but we have to acknowledge the present and look to the future.
Mayor Brian Wyndham said it more eloquently last week but that is the same idea.
Not everyone likes to think about change and it has nothing to do with one's age.
My 91-year-old father-in-law passed away last year. He was a working man. He sat on a road paver many hours of his career and often wore a clean pair of overalls to church. But he appreciated change.
"These are the good old days," I heard him say more than once.
He remembered the days of having to fill the wood box as a boy and getting in trouble if wood for the cook stove ran low.
But not all people of his generation embrace change and not all people of our children's generation want to see things change, either.
A few years ago I was having a conversation with my son-in-law. They don't subscribe to a paper made out of trees but they stay informed by reading the news on their phones. (By the way, have you subscribed to thebraziltimes.com yet? Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
I was reminded of another conversation I had with another young person who sang the praises of paper and ink and who really didn't like the internet.
To each their own but the times are a changin' and there is no stopping the clock.