Big George and Barbara have iPhones.

They can call, text, take photos, check the weather, use the calculator and flashlight, and even read the Bible on the Holy Bible app. They are 83 and 82 years of age. They are also lifelong learners.

Big George deer hunts with a group of men, younger and more tech-savvy. When iPhones went on the market, these men all began to use them. They found them especially valuable while hunting. Ranger stuck in the mud? Phone a friend. Gunshots from the northwest? Text to find out who fired that shot. Bloodied deer? Send for the retriever to sniff the trail.

The men insisted Big George get an iPhone, too. It was a safety issue. He could learn to use it. He would find that texting in the woods was quiet, almost stealth-like. They argued for text alerts, weather forecasts, video and cameras at the ready, texts from home.

But George was very happy with his flip phone. Why learn something new? The letters on his old phone were large, the phone was small, easy to carry and simple to use. It was just a phone, like the one on the wall at home. What was texting anyway? Who needed an iPhone?

The hunters prevailed. One of them upgraded to a new phone and gave Big George his old iPhone. He was hooked. He learned the phone really was simple to use. He learned how to receive texts. He learned how to send texts. He received texts with photos. He learned how to send texts with photos.

His smartphone-wielding grandchildren included Big George in their texting. He was soon receiving photos of sporting events, fishing trips, gardens, vacations, ballgames, parties and boyfriends. He learned how to check the weather, find the calculator, turn on the flashlight and add apps.

Big George even learned how to take a selfie.

And so, Big George purchased the iPhone 6. He insisted that Barbara have one, too.

But he was not happy. It was different. The phone rang funny. He couldn’t hear when a text came in. The font was too small. Where did the Bible go?

After a couple of days of complaints, a granddaughter and a grandson stepped in. They helped Big George relearn how to use the settings button. Before long, the old ring tone was restored. With a few more jabs, the old text notice sound was back. Soon the text size was enlarged. Big George relearned how to visit the app store and the Bible returned to the phone.

Big George is happy again. He loves the larger screen. He loves staying in contact with family members spread statewide. He loves the fact that Barbara helps him remember how to use his phone.

At the age of 83, Big George finds himself continuing to learn.

— Jones lives in Baton Rouge

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