Musings: When you only had ONE house phone

“Your house phone was the only phone in the house? No way!”

imgresWe all heard the stories from our grandparents about how they had to walk to school uphill both ways, only getting one jelly sandwich in a paper bag for lunch, and movies only costing a quarter.  Over the holiday weekend, a group of friends and I were discussing with our children (while they were all texting their friends) How we stayed in contact with our friends, especially during the summer time.

Now, I’m not going to give my actual age, let’s just say my childhood was during the early/mid 80’s, before internet and cell phones, and when computers were the size of a small house.  I grew up in a rather large family, four kids and two parents.  We had a single telephone in our kitchen with had a cord that was long enough to reach a nearby closest for privacy, but still managed to clothesline anyone walking through the kitchen.  My parents would have to set a timer for 10-15 minutes for any of us to use the phone to talk to friends then a required 20 minutes for the phone line to be clear incase family members would be trying to call (prior to call waiting.)   Back then, we only had to dial 5 numbers to reach anyone local.

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 6.10.04 PMMy children will never have the embarrassing moment where dad answers the phone and says something like, “Doug’s Mortuary – Which body are you trying to claim?”  Or my personal favorite, “Doug’s donkey farm which ass would you like?”  But to be honest, most of the time, I never got a chance at the phone. By the time my older brother and sister were finished, it was the time in the night (8pm) where no more phone calls could be made.  My bike was my form of communication with my friends during the summer.   I was allowed to be gone all day and I just had to return home in time for dinner which was promptly at 7pm every night.  Now how many kids can say that these days?

It’s interesting to think about where technology is nowadays, in comparison to when we were growing up.  Consider the last ten years, what smart phones are done to open so many avenues of communication while dissolving other forms.

What technology do you remember that has changed in today’s world? Share your memories and musings with us in the comments below!

Kelly Ammann
Project Manager

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