Slavery is a social economic system under which certain persons known as ‘slaves’ are deprived of personal freedom and compelled to perform labor or services”. Well that’s the dictionary definition of a slave; but does it only apply to people?

For example, have you ever thought about how about an electric Public Address system feels, especially a portable one. Although it’s not technically a “person” it does qualify as something personal to its owner. It’s kind of like your car or guitar or piano or entertainment center. You take good care of it, better care than many “persons” get.

So for the moment let’s imagine that PA system being a person! Now if you are truly a slave you’d be deprived of your personal freedom and have to work all the time. Kinda the same for the PA system. It’s on call 24 hrs a day and totally has no choice of where it’s going to be. The PA system is at the beck and call of its master and must obey orders.

Of course it has no voice of its own, but what it does have is the ability to make its owner sound better, louder, and capable of addressing masses of people. Now for people who have been indentured as slaves their only solace is that they might get fed well and have a roof over their heads. However, they can rebel and rise up in protest if they garner enough support from other slaves and sympathetic supporters.

Our PA system doesn’t have that option. If it rebels in protest and doesn’t perform its task it is simply discarded and replaced by a new and improved system. In a worse case scenario the non-working PA system is often dismantled and usable parts cannibalized for another system. However, let’s look on the positive side. Our gallant PA system does get rewarded in a variety of ways. I’ll use one day in the life of the PA to illustrate this.

Early on a Saturday morning it’s rousted from its slumber in its comfortable storage space, loaded into the back of a vehicle, and zipped across town to an outdoor facility. Shuttering in the early morning coolness it is zapped into life to broadcast a 5 and 10k run. As the runners depart the PA goes onto standby and stands at the ready for the next several hours only to be kicked back into action as the runners begin crossing the finish line. By that time the sun has begun shinning on the system heating its components towards the dangerous level.

Finally the owner moves the system into a cooler situation and again for a couple of hours it sits on standby until a new gathering at the facility begins a dedication of a community park and the system once again performs its task. Dusk brings an end to the festivities and the PA is turned off.

It was a long day and the PA feels tired and well used but somewhat energized by the sounds of applause that have been directed its way all day and as it is re-loaded into the vehicle it has the comforting satisfaction that soon it will be once again basking in the wonderful silence of it’s storage space! At last it can rest in peace until it’s charged up with electricity again at the next event requiring its presence!

To reach Rick email: yarick@pioneer.net

Added 05 September, 2007 by Rick


Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!