When a fiber-optic cable was inadvertently cut last
Thursday afternoon, all communication was cut between Calhoun County and
the outside world.
For a period of almost three hours there was no
long-distance service, internet, cell phone service or the ability to
use credit and debit cards. In other words, total chaos reigned.
The streets of Grantsville were crowded with people
trying find out what had happened to life as they knew it and when
things would return to normal.
went to their cars to access the world through their “OnStar” devices,
which operate from satellites and do not depend on cable or wires. They
were quickly spotted, however, and mobbed by folks who were beginning to
go through the early stages of communication withdrawal.
“Just let me do a quick check of my email,” some
cried. Others wanted to know if they could update their FaceBook
accounts or place a fast bid on eBay. No one, it seemed, needed anything
important, so the frightened owners of cars with “OnStar” installed
quickly gathered together in the
town parking lot and parked their cars in a circle for protection.
As the minutes ticked by with no communication fix
in sight, people began to notice that they were beginning to experience
yet another weird feeling. Just standing around, talking to one another,
was bringing feelings that they had not experienced in years. They were
feeling a sense of . . . community. It was almost better than being
jacked in to the circuits of the world wide web.
They found that they were able to find out, in real
time, how friends and family were doing. They could tell what the
weather was like because they were out in it. There were sounds of
spring, laughter, barking dogs and the happy chirping of birds.
It made many realize that this is what it must feel
like to be truly alive, and that what they were used to was nothing more
than a pseudo-life.
Sometime in the evening all service was restored,
but not many people know the exact time it happened. They were out
visiting with neighbors and friends.