Before the days of heightened airport security, I was at the terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and noticed a man struggling with two huge suitcases. This was before luggage grew wheels. I offered to help.
Because of matters of balance — two trunks are easier to carry than one — the elderly man declined. As he rested, he pulled out a pocket watch unlike anything I’d seen before. It featured a thread-thin antenna for a radio; it announced the time; it had a 24-hour alarm, an adding machine, a ruler, level, altimeter and thermometer.