New visitors to the chronicles from the future may first wish to visit the past, by reading the earlier hologramletters. (see the older listings on the right, go to the bottom and click the link to the earlier hologramletters)
"What is this?" he thought to himself as the incoming transmission light flickered; he watched the screen light up with a face he hadn’t seen before. He saw the old man as he went about his day getting ready to send out his daily ‘message in bottle’. His 2030 call from his own deserted island, his lonely refuge in a troubled world.
NOTE The following is an adaptation from the soon to be released book ‘Letters From 2030’. To register interest on its release, or to order a copy email Bob Williamson via this link.
Sam plodded through the boggy ground and headed back to the house. He knew Joe would be up by now. His early morning strolls no longer rustled up any game or vegetation for him to bring back, but he was a creature of habit and continued his daily routine as he had for most of his years. Behind the closed door Joe was rustling in the kitchen; grumbling and clanging until the coffee was ready. It was an event filled day when they came across those supplies; 2 days walk from where they lived and Joe had fallen through a soft spot in the bogs. Where he landed happened to be an old fall-out shelter, filled with canned goods and crates of coffee. It took them over a week to get back home with Joe's sprained ankle and wrist, but it was worth it.
Sam quietly waited outside the door until he heard Joe walk over to the old make-shift desk he'd built out of salvaged materials after the torrential rains and flooding had turned into the more often than not yellow-green haze that they now live in. Once Joe settled down at the desk and began banging away at the keys, Sam nudged open the door, padded over and sat down behind him. Joe reached down without skipping a beat and scratched Sam behind the ears. "We gots ta keep sendin out da mess'ges Sam, sooner 'er later someone's gonna git 'em en maybe we kin find s'm'uther s'pplies. Maybe today'll be the day, eh boy?"
His transmission was always the same. Joe wasn't much for chat, just wanted to make connection with anyone that may be around...
"'...there anuh'one out there? I'm holdin' up here on a mount'n, not quite sure's 'bouts where, looks to me like 'twer'n ol loggin 'er minin town. Jus me'n m'dog Sam here. Gimme a holla back if ya kin. Shore wud likin t'be hearin from ya. Joe."
Joe sat back waiting for the messages to send with a thoughtful expression, "Wern't so long ago we'd be out trekin up a bird er two were it Sam?" Sampson sat close to Joe slowly wagging his tail. He'd always loved to listen when Joe talked, knowing he never had to answer with anything more than a nuzzle or wag of his tail. As old Joe started rambling on, Sampson curled at his feet. Joe stopped typing... "Used to be that we'd git up 'round'bouts 4 am 'fore the Missus was bakin the biscuits cuz that's when we still hads us the farm'n all. 's all washed away there now I'm 'bouts sure a that."
When the buzz and grind of the old computer's hard drive whirring and straining to send the messages silenced, Sampson stood and waited for Joe to get up out of his chair. Joe grabbed his coffee mug and shuffled back to the kitchen, Sam close at foot, knowing it was time for breakfast. As Joe scraped the last bits out of the pot onto Sam's plate and set it down to the floor, the computer beeped. Sam's ears perked and Joe froze in place, mid-hunch to standing back up. Slowly straightening, his eyes never leaving the screen, Joe read the notice "message received - transmission complete" blinking back at him... the screen went blank.
He stood and reflected on old Joe and his faithful friend Sam. The memory of the tribute made to a man’s best friend on a fall day in 1870 came back to him. He searched the library archive file for the transcript of the court case in Warrensburg for the closing words of country lawyer George Graham Vest. He stood by the outgoing hologramletter screen and spoke to old Joe and his ever watchful and ever faithful mans best friend:
Joe and Sam,
I hear your letter from afar and although I can not be of direct help, I hope you both will take heart that others will one day reach out to you. You stirred a distant memory I would like to share with you from a courtroom of a time less troubled than the one we now have created. From 1870 comes the following tribute, and I can see from your love for each other it's as true today in 2030 as it was 16o years ago.
"Gentlemen of the jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter whom he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us--those whom we trust with our happiness and good name--may become traitors in their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the 1st to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world--the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous--is his dog.Joe you will never need for more reliable support than your Noble Dog Sam.
"Gentlemen of the jury, a man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow, and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert; he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
"If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."