Working from Nyen to Fiyev.
Wow--this reminded me of a Judy Holliday movie. Was it Bells are Ringing maybe?
I'm still inclined to wait until after 5pm to make what would have been a long distance call years ago! Wait for the rate to drop...
I remember my first phone number from 70 years ago FE-98502. Gramma had an Ivanhoe exchange. I always liked the " Murray Hill" exchange, it still sounds classy.
What a great story!
Delightful -- and you obviously made the right decision by playing hooky! Made me think of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0Gw9IUmjwM
That brought memories. We used to visit relatives in Huntington Indiana, and I remember operators answering the phones.
Love the story, love the image - raised some wonderful memories.
On the wall of our old family home, we had a wooden phone with black cast-iron winder and trumpet mouthpiece, a little cast iron ear piece. We would wind the handle furiously, an operator in the village Post Office would know it was our house and would say 'Number please...' and then we would be connected. We knew the Post Office could listen in to the calls and knew all the gossip, but it was fun from my childish eyes. That was the 50's. In the 60's, we had a bakelite standard hall-phone installed but Mum asked if she could keep the old wall phone as a decoration and so it remained.
In the 70's a cream plastic phone replaced the bakelite on and sat on the sideboard but then once mobile phones entered the picture, the standard phone disappeared.
My brother sold the family home last year (too big for a crusty bachelor) and bless him, he unscrewed the wooden phone off the wall and now has it boxed up ready to reinstall (for decoration) on the wall of his new and much smaller home. It'll stay in the family - so glad!
Love it Ramona. When I was much younger we had an old fashioned one ringy dingy / two ringy dingy party line. We could always tell when some was "rubber-necking" and listening in so if my girlfriend and I were talking we would make outrageous statements because we knew it would "curl the hair" of the listener...LOL. Such magical memories - every single one of them "Perfectly on Time". Grateful I can recall and have a smile about it all so thanks for the reminder.
This is fantastic (as all of your pieces are)! If you wrote a novel about it I'd be the first to buy a copy. And great timing too. This Friday for my Saturday Evening Post column I'm doing something about National Emma Nutt Day:
I love this memory, so well written. It's truly amazing this shift in technology. Even in much more recent times, I remember being in my teens, my dad yelling at me to hang up the phone after he'd tripped over the cord while I tried to have a conversation with my boyfriend that of course everyone could hear. I had read somewhere that video calling technology was going to exist one day and my dad was like "yeah right, that's never gonna happen." :)
Recently, I was riding in an autonomous vehicle, and I said to my phone "Google assistant, play my Spotify queue on Waymo" and it began to play the music I'd selected. Sixteen year old me would marvel at being able to choose any song at the drop of a hat instead of fast forwarding through the limited options on a single cassette, while riding in the backseat of a car that was driving itself. Today me also marvels at it.
Random curious question - do you recall if smoking was allowed while you worked as a telephone operator? My mom worked at the post office as a letter sorter for a long time and remembers in the early days that people would just smoke right there among all the letters.