Oct. 13, 2021


Growing up in a small town, most people heard the local news about their neighbors “through the grapevine.” Call it gossip or rumors but, without fail, every little tidbit of information was invariably-linked to someone’s telephone.

Of course, there was a time when almost everyone shared a phone number with one or more families.  It was called “a party line.” Sometimes as many as six families shared the same phone number.  This was certainly—very long ago---when a real person (always a woman)--- called a “telephone operator”---hand-connected every phone call.

 If you wanted to place a phone call--you’d pick up the phone, the operator would say “number, please”-- you’d say the number---and she would connect you with the desired phone number.  The phone would ring and the operator would say—to whomever answered the phone--“this is a call for Mr. Miller from his daughter, Sally”.  If the call wasn’t for anyone who picked up the ringing phone---except Mr. Miller--- everyone was expected to hang up.  Of course—without fail---many people stayed on the phone--- “listening” to other people’s conversations--- and heard more than they needed to know.

As a very-young child, I remember our family sharing a party-line with six other families. There were times when I watched my father pick up the phone several times to make a call--- and politely-ask someone to hang up so he could call the railroad about his work orders.  Numerous times, the person on the other end of the phone was rude and-- rather than hang up the phone so my father could make a business call—they often were nasty or cursed my father. Those were the times I marveled at my father’s classic manners—his patience—and his always- respectful attitude.

Finally the day came when the telephone company installed a private phone line in our house—and it didn’t happen because my family suddenly-became wealthy!

Our one-party-phone line was an absolute-necessity. My father’s railroad job depended on him receiving his daily train orders/assignments--- by telephone.

Sometimes---It’s not just “the times” that are tough but---all-too-often---it’s the nasty people who make “times” tough.

Simply, Sally


Latest comments

17.10 | 01:42

I miss being Facebook friends with you! Hope you are well and happy.

Tammy Brookover Jay

15.10 | 01:28

Love all of this. I'm so lucky to be your neighbor,

30.08 | 16:26

Sally, my friend, I love your writings and sometimes they make me cry and then smile. I love you as if I had known you all my life. God Bless you each and every day in all you do.

29.08 | 19:19

Lol, I loved reading this story! As a female that dated a couple men with Harleys, I totally understand and met Harley Guy myself, many times over!
I hope you get your 3wheels someday soon!

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