Sunday, April 15, 2018

Long Line Of Memories

I remember an old dial up telephone hanging on the wall, a most useful asset back when we were small.

The first time we got one oh what a joy and delight, the first time it rung what an awful sight.

So many hands reaching for it at the same time, I thought to my soul we were gonna break the corded line.

That went on for quite a while, like a bunch of kids in a toy store, we'd look at each other and smile.

Something had to give and mama knew it quite well. She had to break up a fight everytime she heard the ringing of the bell.

She told us you gotta take turns and stop sitting around the phone, get outside and play it's not like it's each your own.

Then occasionally mama would answer it a time or two, but the first time daddy answered we all came unglued.

He picked up the receiver and said "YEAH" instead of hello. We all fell over laughing, after that "YEAH "was his motto.

Then one day mama said, what if the president calls here someday, and daddy said , he's not apt to I voted the other way.

We didn't have Caller ID back then, everybody knew each other and everybody was a neighbor or friend.

But after a few years things progressed quite a bit. We got what was called "The Party Line" and we had to sit and sit.

And wait until other people on line got their business over and done. Now that's when it really started, I'm talking about the fun.

Since more than one household was on the same line, we had to jump fast or waste alot of time.

Quietly we'd ease the receiver up close to our ear, if we heard the dial tone we'd jump into high gear.

But more often than not so and so was already on, talking about their aches and pains and then they'd start to moan and groan.

About how many nosey people there were now days and how they like to listen in on other people's business, believe me there was no praise.

Then sometimes we'd pick it up and hear "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND WAIT YOUR TURN". Now you talk about biting your tongue and getting a face sunburn.

The few times we finally did get through somehow, we didn't talk long before someone spoke up and said, "I NEED THE PHONE NOW"

I guarantee it was the same two people all the time, on that we could always bet our last bottom dime.

These same people when we met up with somewhere, they'd act like the best people in the world and so unaware.

By now you get the point of what I'm trying to tell. In other words I can honestly say "The Party Line" wasn't so swell.

Until one day daddy came through the door, wanting us to call his old buddy that he talked to galore.

Daddy never knew how to dial the numbers right, we always did it for him but on this day it was one more sight.

I was in a hurry and quickly dialed the phone and never took the time to listen for a dial tone.

He put it up to his ear and said "YEAH" then after a few seconds passed  he said ," MERCY ME , YOU CAN'T EVEN USE THIS PHONE IN AN EMERGENCY".

Needless to say when I picked up again, I heard a dial tone and daddy talked for quite a while to his old friend.

After that we learned a new trick to having fun, we'd get daddy to pick up the receiver and all business was done.

To think we had to go through all of that back in the day. Telephones sure have come a long ways I can honestly say.

As for that old dial up telephone with the corded line, it sure did leave a long line of good and Patient memories behind.

                                                    © Susie Swanson, 2018


  1. Susie, Oh the memories you bring to me. I love how your father answered the phone. I remember party lines. So thankful people would do their calls get to the point and hang up. not hanging on for hours to talk. LOL. I still have my old rotary dial phone for those days. My granddaughter used to play on it. Hope all is going so much better for you. Good health and good weather. It was 76 yesterday morning by evening it had dropped to 46. May snow again here this evening...hope it doesn't. Blessings to you my friend, love, xoxo, Susie

  2. I can just picture the reactions of my grandkids if they had to go back to the old dial phone we had, and take turns using it. I enjoyed your poem!

  3. Great!! We have one of the old phones. It belonged to the farmer's grandparents. They gave it to him to "work" on since he loved to take things apart. ;) The workings are all inside and my daddy refinished the outer cabinet. My grandchildren all liked to make the bell ring when they were small. It hangs in the living room.

  4. Great memories, Susie. Those old phones were at the center of the household back then. Things have changed a lot, but people are still connected to their phones all the time. Ha!

  5. Dropping in to say how I'd love to see your old chair with the pan of petunias. Could you post some pictures of your rustic planters? Wouldn't it be nice if we could share some flower cuttings!

  6. You are right Susie! It wasn't all fun and games.