Ephemera is a strange word to some people. You don’t hear it much in today’s conversations. So what is ephemera? According to Merriam-Webster:
1 : something of no lasting significance —usually used in plural2 ephemera plural : paper items (such as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles
Paper items and books have a relatively short life. They yellow and grow brittle. They are subject to tears and tattering. However, there is an entire industry devoted to the preservation of paper items.
On the other hand, if paper is ephemeral, electronic media can be even more ephemeral.
Say I send you a card – a physical card – for your birthday. You open it and handle it. There is a texture to the paper that you feel with your fingers. You are interacting with the card.
Perhaps you set it on a shelf or desk or mantle where you can see it as you pass by. It stays there for a week or so. Then you can discard it – or, if you are like some people I know, you put it in a scrapbook to look at again and again in later years.
An electronic greeting, on the other hand, is there for a moment. You simply clicked on a link to find it. It will be available on that link for a specified amount of time. Then you will either have to download it – or let it go. Our world today is full of hurry up and let go attitude.
We seem to have forgotten history both personal and societal.
While I cannot do much about the world’s history, I can, in fact, preserve some of our family history for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
One of the ways I’m doing this is in the creation of a personal family calendar. I’m recording birth dates, anniversary dates, even memorial dates.
This takes the form of a perpetual calendar – with no days, just dates listed. As children are born and weddings take place, they can be added. This calendar can then be handed down from generation to generation.
PBS airs a program called Finding Your Roots. There seems to be an interest in finding these things. How much better if we do not let them get lost in the first place.
Remember, at DuMond Printing, business is personal.
214 West Commercial
Lyons, KS 67554