Saturday, October 3, 2009

Two Long, One Short

Like something out of Disney animation it hung on the wall so high that I couldn't reach it. Many times I remember wondering how it could be so magical. It was marvelous. To this small child it resembled a comical face with two small, golden eyes and a cone-shaped nose that moved up and down according to the speaker's height. On one side it had an conical ear dangling from a cord, on the other side a crank-shaped ear. The slanted platform at beneath the nose resembled a large, gaping mouth.

Sometimes the little eyes would ring when the little hammer struck them. Two long rings and a short. Someone would pick up the drooping ear, lean into the nose and talk. Mother would often lean into the nose and ask for Aunt Welma. Sure enough, she would be talking to her in just a few minutes. Yes, it was our crank- telephone.
Gone are the days of two longs and one short. Gone are the days of asking the operator to ring up a neighbor. The phone no longer resides on the wall but in a pocket. Heck, you can even talk without using your hands...or voice! Something seems to be missing. I miss a system of people who made that bell ring on that funny-faced box, the people who listened in on the party line, those who were there to help immediately in case of emergency.

I think most of all I miss the operator who knew that the doctor was needed at the farm to check on little Pam who was sick.

Two longs...one short.

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