|Mary at the candy store c. 1949.|
Here there was a public phone.
This arrangement worked out well until my sister, Mary, got a boyfriend who lived on Long Island. If she got a phone call from a boy, the entire neighborhood would know it. As it turned out, this boy was a friend of my brother, Billy.
|Billy (center) and Joe (on the right).|
|City girls (Dotsy, Mary, and Anna) out-on-the-island, posing with shotguns.|
Okay, back to the phone. My parents gave in and had a phone installed in our dining room, right next to the refrigerator. It was what we called a “party line”. Sometimes when we needed to make a call, someone in the neighborhood already would be using the line. We could hear their conversation. If we were using the phone first, then they could listen to our conversations.
If all that wasn’t confusing enough, I need to let you readers know there was very few private conversations on that phone, as all the family usually lived around the dining table. Homework, eating dinner, arts and crafts, and even social visits were around this table. Joe would complain that he never saw Mary alone. Well, they never had a private conversation either.
Now we are in an electronic age, using computers and cell phones. Running down to the corner store to use the telephone is as rare as sending smoke signals.
© 2013, Patricia Aronica