Keeler Kids learn the importance of pausing

This week at Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s popular summer camp, Keeler Kids were deputized postmasters by 18th-century innkeeper, Timothy Keeler. Session One — Life in Early Ridgefield — focused on the town’s first post office at the Keeler Tavern in 1792. The kids donned uniforms of the day, mapped out mail routes through the 13 original colonies, built a mock post office of their own, and discussed the arduous process of conveying information from one place or person to another (by horse, no less).

In an era of tweets, texts, and ubiquitous technology rendering communication instantaneous, Keeler Kids experienced what it was like to pause when corresponding — the time it once took to compose a letter, the often-interminable space between composition and delivery, and the necessary thought required to pen a response.

One wonders if it is a lack of pause that has contributed to challenges in communication today. What purpose did that pause serve in private and public discourse during the 18th century? How would conversations differ if we were all compelled again to contemplate our words and responses?

Maybe we should ask the Keeler Kids.

Lynn Felici-Gallant