Party lines…

Posted November 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm


Some of you know exactly what I am referring to when I say we had a party line telephone, others may think I have lost my mind and cannot imagine such a thing. Those were the days when we shared a telephone line with five or six of our adjoining neighbors. You went to the wall and picked up the telephone, you didn’t carry it in your hand or in your pocket. You dialed the number on a round rotary dial then you waited on the dial to come back for the next number, then you put it to your ear and someone was on there screaming, “I’m on the phone”.

Now you are laughing because you have also experienced this in the past too!

This may have been your neighbor that sometimes was not very eager to hang up from their current conversation so that you could have your own, then when you did get your chance someone clicked the phone up and down, up and down trying to hurry you up. Those of you who remember what I am talking about, be honest… did you ever eavesdrop on another conversation?

My, where phones have come from! We went from party lines to semi-private which was sharing with maybe one other person to private and on to, no landline phone at all. We all have cell phones that have social networks, emails, games, texts, and even building word documents and presenting presentations. Our phones are so advanced it makes it hard to even place a call on them. I once heard a funny story from someone who got a new phone and they called in for technical support. Technical Support asked the person what they wanted to know how to do on the phone. The the person replied, “I want to make a call”. Hard to image that we have become so advanced with technology that the complications of simply trying to call someone have become so difficult.

We have ring tones, movies, books, Facebook, Instagram, and no one even carries a camera anymore. We have instant gratification; we can make your picture instantly and share it with the entire world in a matter of seconds. If we see something happening good or bad we can instantly share it with the whole world, post on You Tube and who knows it may make the local or national news.

So take a few minutes to think back on those busy “party lines” to the place we are now. I don’t know about you but sometimes I miss them.

We had a phone cord that would reach from inside the house all the way outside to the porch and we thought that was a long way. This gave you the privacy you desired, but now we can stand in front of the ocean to where you can see no land and talk on a telephone to someone 600-800 miles away. Remember when…….

Tammy Waid McClellan