A Heart for History
I have always been fond of history in grade school, high school, and beyond. From a point of global history, America is a “young country,” and I always smile when in Central Florida a business advertises with “25th anniversary, “indicating they have been in business for a long time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud being of being more than a quarter of a century in business, APG is among those as well. However, being considered an “old business” is relative. In Switzerland, 25 years is commendable, but nothing compared with some private banks in Zurich or Geneva, who have been in business since the 16th century.
Switzerland was founded in 1291 and will celebrate its 733rd birthday this August 1st. Compare that to the US, which was founded in 1776 and will be celebrating its 248th birthday this July 4th. Switzerland and the US have by and large the same governmental structure with a House and Senate, independent states, and an independent court system. However, it was not the US copying Switzerland, it was Switzerland which in 1848 reorganized its political system “borrowing” the concept from the US, which since has been unchanged in both countries. Both countries never had a King, which makes them unique in the Western world.
These days (on this or the other side of the Atlantic), I am quite often told “This is the most challenging time in History….” Well, after just celebrating my 60th birthday last month, I disagree.
I think all of us born in the last 60 years in the USA or Western Europe, have had the best time ever in history. Compared to somebody born around 1880 in Germany, the last 60 years have been awesome. If you were born in 1880 in Germany, during your life you had to go through 2 World Wars, and likely lost many of your family members and friends in those wars. Even if you were working hard, and saving money, hyperinflation wiped out all your savings, not once, but twice. While inflation these days is higher than usual, it does not compare with the days around 100 years ago in Germany. Yes, this was the time when a loaf of bread would cost 1 Reichsmark and during hyperinflation 1 billion Reichsmark or more. Retirees who had worked hard their entire lives could buy nothing on their monthly pension if they even had one. In contrast, most of us in America or Switzerland have little fear that our life needs will not be satisfied tomorrow.
Going back to the last 25 years of history in Avalon Park (yes, this summer marks the 25-year anniversary of the first homeowners moving into Avalon Park) the population in the 3-mile radius surrounding today’s downtown Avalon Park was just cows. Today, approximately 60,000 men, women and children call the same radius home. We all have been a part of making history over the last 25 years in Southeast Orange County, Florida. It always reminds me that while companies come and go (although some can stay in business for a long time), a town like Avalon Park will be around forever.