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The Old Phone (PIOG)

Posted by on May. 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM
  • 13 Replies
2 moms liked this

 

THE OLD PHONE
 
THIS WAS ONE OF THE 'GOOD OLD DAYS' WHEN PEOPLE REALLY CARED ABOUT EACH OTHER
 
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.
 
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.
 
My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my Mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.
 
I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the Parlor and dragged it to the landing climbing up; I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.
 
'Information, please,' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.
 
'Information.'
 
'I hurt my finger,' I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
 
'Isn't your mother home?' came the question.
 
'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered.
 
'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked.
'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.'
 
'Can you open the icebox?' she asked.
 
I said I could.
 
'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said the voice.
 
After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my maths. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
 
Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, 'Information Please,' and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring Joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?'
 
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ' Wayne , always remember that there are other worlds to sing in..'
 
Somehow I felt better.Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please.'
 
'Information,' said in the now familiar voice.
 
'How do I spell fix?' I asked.
 
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest .
 
When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston . I missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy..
 
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle , I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, 'Information Please.Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 'Information.'
 
I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please tell me how to spell fix?'
 
There was a long pause.
Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by now.'
 
I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?'
 
'I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.'
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.
 
'Please do,' she said. 'Just ask for Sally.'
 
Three months later I was back in Seattle & a different voice answered:
 
Information.' I asked for Sally.
 
'Are you a friend?' she said..
 
'Yes, a very old friend,' I answered.
'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago..'
 
Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne ?'
 
'Yes.' I answered.'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.'
 
The note said, 'Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean.'
 
I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.
 
Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.
 
Whose life have you touched today
Why not pass this on? I just did....
 
Lifting you on eagle's wings. May you find the joy and peace you long for.
 
Life is a journey ... NOT a guided tour. So don't miss the ride and have a great time going around. You don't get a second shot at it
 
 

by on May. 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sonogal
by on May. 3, 2012 at 6:57 PM
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Bmat
by Barb on May. 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM
2 moms liked this

I enjoyed reading this, thank you.

It reminds me of an elderly student in a class I taught.  It was a free class at the senior center called Sit and Stretch. Instead of having the folks sit and watch the TV all morning, I taught them some easy seated exercises. We sang, we exercised to music, we reminisced. We laughed.  At the time the class was sponsored by the local college. So I got the college to issue course completion forms suitable for the class at the end of each quarter. An elderly gentleman who was from the Old Country, and who sat and smiled and played along with the class, passed away, much to my sadness.  A few days later, his granddaughter came in before class and told me how much the class had meant to him and that every course completion form that I had given him, he taped to the wall in his bedroom.  I had no idea.

nana9106
by Darlene on May. 3, 2012 at 9:57 PM
That is so great. Thank you for posting it.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
louannwilkins
by Louann on May. 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM

 Thats great, thanks      :)

LadySaphira
by Lisa on May. 4, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Great story!

LadySaphira
by Lisa on May. 4, 2012 at 9:26 AM

That is really sweet! You and that class must have ment a lot to him.

Quoting Bmat:

I enjoyed reading this, thank you.

It reminds me of an elderly student in a class I taught.  It was a free class at the senior center called Sit and Stretch. Instead of having the folks sit and watch the TV all morning, I taught them some easy seated exercises. We sang, we exercised to music, we reminisced. We laughed.  At the time the class was sponsored by the local college. So I got the college to issue course completion forms suitable for the class at the end of each quarter. An elderly gentleman who was from the Old Country, and who sat and smiled and played along with the class, passed away, much to my sadness.  A few days later, his granddaughter came in before class and told me how much the class had meant to him and that every course completion form that I had given him, he taped to the wall in his bedroom.  I had no idea.


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Bmat
by Barb on May. 4, 2012 at 9:57 AM

He was a interesting person.  He had been a lamplighter- he said he carried his ladder and went from lamp to lamp along the streets of his city and lit the gas lamps. It is a job I'd never even heard of. Another story I remember that he told was that he only had milk once a year as a child, when they went to help at their uncle's dairy farm.

Quoting LadySaphira:

That is really sweet! You and that class must have ment a lot to him.

Quoting Bmat:

I enjoyed reading this, thank you.

It reminds me of an elderly student in a class I taught.  It was a free class at the senior center called Sit and Stretch. Instead of having the folks sit and watch the TV all morning, I taught them some easy seated exercises. We sang, we exercised to music, we reminisced. We laughed.  At the time the class was sponsored by the local college. So I got the college to issue course completion forms suitable for the class at the end of each quarter. An elderly gentleman who was from the Old Country, and who sat and smiled and played along with the class, passed away, much to my sadness.  A few days later, his granddaughter came in before class and told me how much the class had meant to him and that every course completion form that I had given him, he taped to the wall in his bedroom.  I had no idea.



EmilyMarshall
by on May. 4, 2012 at 9:59 AM
great


caro100
by Carol on May. 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

beautiful

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