You don’t have to go very far this week to hear someone complaining about the change from standard time to daylight saving time. I am in the process of trying to adjust my sleeping and waking time to the new hour.
The idea of changing time was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin, who thought the time change might save costs on candles. This is the same guy who talked about “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Sorry, Ben, this hasn’t worked for me.
The Georgia General Assembly passed a bill last year to place our state on daylight saving time all year. The bill would take effect when the federal government enacts a companion bill. While I grouse a bit for the first few weeks of the time change, I don’t know if I want to keep one time all year.
Think about this: In December, the sun would not rise until nearly 9 a.m. While we may change time, I don’t know that parents put their children to be any earlier. Teachers would have students that are sleepy until mid-morning.
The other problem with a major time change is airline schedules. We have all heard that the Atlanta airport is the engine that drives our state. Changing times on flights involves more than just pressing a button. Suddenly, you have to change work schedules, plane arrivals and other things.
The first time we tried a widespread use of time change was in 1918 during World War I. It was called “war time.” It wreaked havoc with things like railroad schedules, which was a primary way of travel at the time
Georgia ended up divided. About two thirds of the state was on Eastern time and the western border was on Central time. That caused a lot of confusion. Today, there are a handful of counties in Alabama that are on Eastern time, because most of their larger business transactions are in Georgia.
I think the answer Is to bring back the sundial. You would know it is noon when the sun is straight up in the sky. I don’t know how you would figure out time when you’re in a car or wearing a wristwatch.
I’ll have to get back to you on that. Perhaps we could bring back the service usually sponsored by banks where you could place a phone call and find out the time. “Current sundial time is …”
We once again tried the year-round daylight time in 1974 during the energy crisis. After spending a season of winter in the dark until mid-morning, it was repealed the next year.
Until we come up with something better, I’ll just hang onto what we have. A week or so of adjustment may not be that bad.
Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns publish weekly.