Saturday, September 15, 2007

Olden Days

The town that I grew up in was very isolated -- the bus to St. Louis was one foot wider that the lane it traveled on the highway to reach to US 66. Because it was so isolated, I can usually out old people thirty or more years older than myself.

There were still hitching posts along main street when I was in high school.

My grandparents (mother's side) had a phone on the wall, one of those big wooden things that you turned a crank on to get the operator.

My grandparents (father's side) did not have a phone. They did at one time but the lines fell down and the company went out of business. Still today, on their farm, you have to go up a hill to a field where the electric meter is on a pole. You put the reading on a postcard and mail it to the power co-op.

My grandmother (father's side) always rode in the backseat even when just my grandfather was in the car. It was a throw-back to the days when women rode only in the backseats of buggies.

Our family doctor's phone number was 3. City hall was 1. I don't remember who was 2. The phone company was Ozark Central.

The factories and the city sounded noon whistles, I never knew why.

On Good Friday, no one talked between noon and 3:00 PM.

Obituaries were read on the local radio station three times a day ("Chapel of Memories").

Parking at a meter cost 1-cent. The fine was 10-cents.

1 comment:

:P fuzzbox said...

At least they didn't have to climb the pole to make the call. My great-grandmother was a switchboard operator back in the olden days. I am sure that there must have been some code like the doctor-patient or lawyer-client privalige as she surely knew the dirt on everyone that talked on the phone.