Did Texting Ruin Storytelling?

Alden Olmsted
8 min readNov 5, 2023

I’m going with yes

Garage find GOLD! My first cell

I Still Got It

Yesterday I took a break from our beautiful Northern California fall weather to address my nemesis — the garage, and as I was consolidating a few old boxes into newer boxes I stumbled upon the tiny hand-held invention shown above.

Intrepid eyes may recognize another rarity — the since discontinued but forever iconic Super 8mm Kodachrome Film — which is another story altogether.

2002 was already strange

A close friend had died, another had gotten married, and less than one year removed from 9/11 I found myself back in daunting Los Angeles, to try college for the second time, at the ripe old age of 30.

And I worked on my first movie.

I sat behind Leo in a scene and met a nice red-haired girl named Amy Adams at the coffee cart as an old car driver on 2002’s Catch Me If You Can (me and my Gold ’66 Newport appear a few times — at :59 in this scene if you don’t blink).

Yes — I was able to answer all the casting calls and show up on time at multiple locations around the entire Los Angeles basin without a cell phone.

Or gps.

Heck I didn’t even have a Thomas Guide (yeah yeah, I’m reallly dating myself now).

That Summer

I was back up in NorCal for already the second wedding that year and was checking in on a friend who had just learned how to make beer at home. He hadn’t perfected it but of course being polite I drank a big stein of his new brew before heading to the wedding rehearsal (which I was filming on Kodachrome btw — remember the Kodachrome?) and then the rehearsal dinner where I had BBQ oysters for the first time.

Following the rehearsal I met still other friends at the County fair and since one friend doesn’t like heights I got coerced onto the Zipper with his girlfriend. That’s the ride where two people sit in a little cage and go waaaay up and around and then come back down.

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Alden Olmsted

I was born in a small town in Northern California just another latch-key kid obsessed with BMX and Tom Petty. Now I make films and travel and write when I can.