Sunday, January 27, 2013



 We had a phone similar to the one above from the time I was three until I was eight.  Then we moved from the farm into town and the wall phone stayed behind. My grandma was just a little lady, probably about 4'5".  There was an old wooden box turned upside down that she could stand on to reach the handle and speak into the mouth piece.  Our phone number was 805 and our sound was "two longs and a short"  Does that bring back memories for any one?

I received this little story in an email from a friend


When I was a young boy, 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 any one'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  math.  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?   
Lifting you on eagle's wings.  May you find the joy and peace you long for. Life is a journey... NOT a  guided tour. 
 I loved this story and just had   to pass it on. I hope you enjoy it too.