On Sunday We Phoned Grandma

Remember when Sunday meant that, after church, we made a long distance phone call to grandma? She lived in West Virginia and we lived three hours away in Pennsylvania. It was 1950 something.

Making that call could be complicated. Our family shared a “party line” with two other families. Private lines were available but quite expensive. If we picked up the phone and heard a conversation underway, we knew the neighbors were on the phone. We immediately hung up and waited to make the call later. Sharing time and taking turns was neighborly.

We waited all week to talk with grandma because the rates per minute, while still expensive relative to today, were lower only on Sundays. We asked for the “long distance” Bell Telephone operator and she would make the connection for us. Dialing without the operator’s help was not possible. We could expect the connection to be noisy and broken.

Our parents let my sister and I take a turn to say a few words to grandma. We loved hearing her voice bubble over with joy.

The children of today have their own “smart” cell phones. Those phones are heavily used to browse the internet, play games, listen to music, connect with their young friends through social media (Snapchat, Facetime, Facebook) and endless “text” with their friends. Grandma may still use a landline; how un-cool is she? Phoning her is well down on the priority list.

Note to the young: Phone Grandma!

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from Amazon.com and on all e-readers. See www.authorbillramsey.com. Follow Bill on Facebook at www.facebook.com/billramseyauthor/
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3 Responses to On Sunday We Phoned Grandma

  1. allenrizzi says:

    Brings back lots of memories. I remember the party lines well as we had one forever. There were also tiered rates that meant you never knew how much a call was going to cost until after the bill arrived. These millennial brats should not only call grandma, they should also be a tad thankful they live in such an over-indulged world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those were better times in general, because the youth valued and respected their elders. Not so much today, unfortunately. But, on the plus side, there is Skype and FaceTime, etc. Now, if we can only persuadeour offspring to use them! 🙂


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