In today’s 24/7, celeb-fuelled social media maelstrom it’s impossible for the smartphone-wielding generation to appreciate just how different things were not so long ago.
A couple of stories from last week drove that home.
The first was the night in the 80s when Georgie Best came to Kirrie as a favour for pal Frank Kopel to draw the Christmas raffle in the Roods Bar where the Dundee United legend was mine host.
Long before the advent of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, word still spread quickly enough to see the wee pub packed in the blink of an eye, and by all accounts they had a ball in Kirriemuir.
The ink on the autographs may have faded a bit, but the memory lives on for many who were there and a fair number will hopefully be in Kirrie Town Hall next month for the premiere of a play centred around the famous event.
Further back, and seared into the conscience of one Angus man in a very much more painful way, are the events of October 1966 when the tragedy of Aberfan devastated Wales and the watching world after a coal tip crushed a school.
Lorry driver John Sibbit had been in Swansea the day before, but despite the physical exhaustion of the long drive home, immediately loaded up his truck with sandbags and headed south again after seeing the catastrophe unfold on the black and white television screen.
A brush with cancer got in the way of John’s plans to retrace his mercy mission route on the 50th anniversary two years ago, but 76-year-old John was due to head over Shap and beyond at the weekend on the very personal and undoubtedly painful pilgrimage to the one-time colliery community near Merthyr Tydfil.
Had those very different happenings taken place today, they’d have been recorded and relayed through a multitude of platforms then shared and liked thousands of times, before disappearing down a social media timeline.
And I wonder if the memory – happy or challenging – would be diluted sufficiently two or more decades later to make folk not bother to turn out on their own doorstep for a great local amateur theatre production, or even consider the thought of a 1,200 mile trip in tribute to a lost generation.