News delivered to Cyril on paper and tablet

DeLois Patterson, 94, has been reading The Oklahoman for nearly eight decades. But her 77-year-old son would like to persuade her to read the newspaper on an electronic tablet.
BY DON MECOY dmecoy@opubco.com Published: April 19, 2011

A technology generation gap exists in this southwest Oklahoma town. DeLois Patterson likes reading The Oklahoman on paper, as she has done for nearly 80 years. Her son, Bill Patterson, favors his iPad.

“I much prefer to get the news through the iPad,” 77-year-old Bill Patterson said. “I've got the world at my fingertips.”

In addition to accessing The Oklahoman's iPad edition, Patterson was one of the first subscribers to The Daily, a fledgling operation that provides original news content designed specifically for the popular Apple tablet.

DeLois, 94, scoops The Oklahoman off her front porch every morning after she makes her bed and starts the coffee.

“I like to hold it and read it,” says DeLois Patterson, well-known around Cyril as “Granny Dee.” She reads much of the newspaper and usually completes the crossword puzzle. On Monday, she had finished the puzzle well before lunchtime.

She's been reading the paper regularly since she dropped out of eighth grade during the Great Depression because her family couldn't afford the stockings and books that were required of students.

“I've always been a reader,” she said. “I've probably got a thousand books around this house.”

When Bill Patterson buys a new iPad, he hopes to give his current one to his mother, who immediately dismisses the idea with a wave of her hand.

“I bossed him around for 70 years; now he bosses me around,” she said. “I will look at it, for his sake.”

Seniors heading online

Their tale reflects a growing use, particularly by seniors, of various new platforms to get and share information online.