Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Techno Generation

We went to Nathan and Crystal's house the other night for dinner. Matt had mentioned to Crystal that I don't make fried chicken, I only bake it. Crystal took pity on my lard-deprived teenager and made yummy homemade fried chicken, homemade biscuits, and potatoes for us. (I think her question to Matt was something along the lines of "You live in ARKANSAS and you don't eat fried chicken???")

During the ice storm, they had borrowed his sister's old fashioned rotary phone because their cordless phones didn't work without power.

The phone was still there when we came over. It looks an awful lot like the one shown here. Faith fell in love with it. She loves the way it looks, and loves the way it feels. She asked if she could buy it from them repeatedly. The best moment, though, was when my child, who has been raised in the internet and non-rotary cellphone age, asked a very important question.

"How do you call people with it?"


Anonymous said...

Not only do I remember using rotary telephones (even up into the 1980's and possibly into the 1990's), I remember when as a kid we had "party lines".

Party lines meant that 2, 3, or 4 homes shared the same physical telephone line connection to the wooden telephone line pole that was located in the corner of our back yard.

They were called "party lines" because if you picked up the receiver (the piece you held to your ear and talked into at the other end of it), you could hear other people's conversations if they were already using the telephone. And, they could hear your conversations too. This was the forerunner of modern day conference calling.

When we got our first telephone, it was a 4 party party line because that is all we could get from the phone company.

Later we stayed with the 4 party party line when the 2 party line lines because available because the 2 party party lines were more expensive.

Even later a 2 party party line was less expensive and we switched over to a 2 party party line, but an individual phone line was still very expensive. And long distance calls were completely separate charges.

About the time I was in junior high school (which would have been the late 1960's and the early 1970's), my parents could afford to get a single phone line. But there still was no such thing as call waiting so the rule was we could be on the phone for no more than 15 minutes and then we had to hang up and everyone (in our household) had to stay off the phone for 15 minutes in case someone was trying to call us.

So talk about a generation (or two) gap here!

Faith, I love you! I hope you enjoy this story from the "ancient, dinosaur ages".

Hugs and kisses from Gramma Pam

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

My first boyfriend put in our first non-rotary dial phone. Mom and dad still have the harvest gold rotary dial model. . .and yes, we had a party line until I was in upper elementary school or so. Things change a little slower here. : )

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