Thursday, September 27, 2012
This post really doesn't fit into my plan for the blog, which is to be primarily about thrifting, refurbishing, making over, etc. But I don't know how soon I will have that going, and since you were kind enough to come by, I wanted to post something so your visit was not totally wasted. This piece was inspired by a post that I found at ThistlewoodFarm(http://www.thistlewoodfarms.com) Kari wrote about remembering the "old days" before pinterest, etc., and how her son was surprised to learn they actually had TV when she was a child. Go read her article if you missed it, she has great kids, and a great blog. Anywaaay, I started thinking about my childhood. Uh, we didn't have TV. I mean, it had been invented then, I guess people in cities had them, but nobody in my world. I saw my first TV when I was about eight years old. It was in the front window of a furniture store. It was turned on in the evening, and people would gather outside the store and watch a show. The store was closed of course, (nothing was open past six o'clock), but the owner had rigged up a speaker so people could hear the program, and people would go stand there and watch. Eventually, people starting getting them for home. I think we had a whopping two channels, both from Little Rock. All broadcasting stopped at 10pm.
Life before cell phones? LOL, we got our first phone about the same time TV came to town. A black box, weighed a ton, connected to the wall with a heavy cord (no, you couldn't unplug it, it was wired directly into the wall). There were no buttons, no dial.
You lifted the receiver, and a real human said "Operator" and you gave her the 4-digit number you wanted to call, and she somehow plugged you in from the "Telephone Office" in town, which was actually a small room in the back of the fabric store. Or in my little town, you could just tell her "Grace, I want to talk to Mary Simmons" and she would "put you through". Or not. She might well tell you there was no point, as Mary Simmons had gone to see Doc Johnson about her bad knee, and she wasn't home. Grace could tell you many things. If you forgot to wind your clock (yes, we wound the clock) you could pick up the phone and ask her what time it was.
If you heard the fire siren, pick up and she would tell you where the fire was. See the light on at the funeral home, she could tell you who died.
I was in seventh grade when dial service came to town. They had an assembly at school, with a rep from the phone company who spoke to us. He explained phone etiquette, and demonstrated how to dial the phone. And encouraged all of us to go home and explain it to our parents. Most of whom were dismayed that the world was becoming so advanced that you could actually talk to Mary Simmons without even telling Grace about it. What was the world coming to? What would be next--probably nothing; my goodness, what else was there, between the television and the dial phone, there wasn't much left to invent.
I was not exactly born in the dark ages, all of this innovation was in the mid-50's. A bit more than fifty years ago, and look where we are now. It boggles the mind to really think about the changes people my age have seen in our lifetimes. I wonder what will be the next invention. Probably not much, as pretty much everything has already been invented. Famous last words.
Thanks so much for coming by. Hopefully, I will get this figured out and start posting regularly SOON!