"When we all think alike, then no one is thinking."
— Walter Lippman

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Number Please....

  I've been recalling the days when you picked up the telephone to hear an operator politely say "Number Please."  A real person on the other end, instant gratification and no waiting... someone just sitting there ready to help.  Simply speak a 4 digit number and the operator would connect you.  That's right, 4 digits.
   The telephone I grew up with as a child was an instrument of wonder, massive and imposing with a table of it's own.  When it rang, the whole house shook and everyone fell silent with anticipation to see who could be calling.  
  Party lines were shared among neighbors and on occasion you would pick up the phone to unexpectedly hear someone else's conversation and listen for a moment before carefully, guiltily returning the heavy receiver to it's cradle.  There was always a loud audible click in hanging up.
  When the rotary dial was put into use, the phone company gave out instructions advising folks how to use the thing.  You can see one of those public service messages (here).  Somewhere, an operator was displaced and "Number Please" became obsolete.   
  I can clearly recall the sound of the telephone of my childhood, and the one at my grandparent's house that had a different, more baritone ring.   Who knew this would be a sound I would someday miss?  
  I wonder what will the children of the present recall about the telephone?   
  These were the thoughts that inspired my visual journal pages for the month.  Above is my first version, and below is it's evil twin.  
And now, if you will excuse me, the phone is ringing.........

3 comments:

andrea creates said...

hi-
it's been awhile since i last stopped by :0
i remember the rotary phones-and (shock) ones that were attached to walls,lol. it's hard to believe that wasn't that long ago!
have a great weekend-
andrea

Snappy Di said...

Oh, and they came in such great colors at one time.

Ann Renee Lighter said...

I still have the turquoise phone that was in my room when I was a teenager. Oh the hours of conversation that passed through that receiver!

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