It all started way back there God knows when.

One day some fellow came up with the amazingly bright idea that perhaps words could be written down in some symbolic form. 

That verbal sounds could actually be etched on stone, might communicate and be understood by those who later looked at them; what a brilliant concept. What an original thought.

Sure there had been signs, symbols, sketches of animals and such scribbled on the walls of many caves. 

But to actually get an idea, intention or message across to another, what an unique revolutionary development. 

Of course tenses, nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives and all that mumbo jumbo still remained to be dreamed up and added to the process. But at least there was that initial start and the ball was rolling.

We don’t know who that fellow was, that first original writer who altered our entire course in history, but lets just call him “Ug”.

I’d sure like to shake Ug’s hand if I was there at the time. I’d gladly buy him a beer, if beer was being brewed by then.

The invention of the written word of course opened up a whole new world for our human advancement and progression. It put an entire different spin on it all. And we owe it all to Ug. 

I think that some day archaeologists will make a phenomenal breakthrough when they decipher the meanings of those many ancient writings that have been discovered in the Middle East and elsewhere down through the years.

I would venture a guess that I may already know what they will find. If they manage to translate the very first one it could very well say “Ug was here”.

There was a well known tagger in the nineties in Southern California. He went by the handle “Shaka”. On walls, bridges, water towers, almost everywhere there was blank wall space you were likely to see the word Shaka scribbled. He covered an area far and wide. He was quite an industrious tagger. He left no doubt about it. Shaka was here! 

I imagine that old Ug was happy to be alive and well and enjoying his existence. He more than likely wanted to say “Hi there” to his friends and whomever else viewed his creations. He may well have been much like Shaka.

A great many writers have ridden on Ug’s coattails down through the long years. 

There was William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Hemingway, and Steinbeck just to name a few. Of course they expanded the “Hi. How are you? I was here” a bit. They added some entertainment in the way of stories, philosophy, poetry, long winded novels and such.

However, it seems to me that their basic message was “Hi there. I’m here. I also want to acknowledge your presence, give you a tip of the hat and wish you well”.

I guess in a way then that I myself may be carrying on an age old tradition here. I’m using a process that was not copyrighted at the time. 

Those original writings were never legally published. Anyone who came along afterward was free to communicate in that mode. Ug was a most helpful and generous kind of guy in a way.

But really, to reach across the oceans, down through endless years, through space and time and still be able to touch the mind of another; what a feat!

Communication brightens our life and gives it meaning. It allows us to open our arms to others, express our emotions and reach across the void. 

It brings us friends, ideas, knowledge and adventure. I would say it ranks right up there with air, water and above fire and the wheel.

But these are all just my crazy ramblings; thoughts and ideas I wanted to toss out there to you.

What do you think about all that dear reader?

Dan O’Connor can be reached at