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September 23rd, 2010


Paul pointed me to a post by Dave Winer declaring phones just about dead and it got me to thinking about my own phone-related memories. Memories like:

  • Scopes (comment #3),
  • Freshman year of college, our dorm rooms hadn’t been finished getting configured for phones, so for the first two weeks (maybe longer?), each floor had a hall phone we had to share,
  • My grandparents having rotary dial right up until my grandmother died a few years ago,
  • The great tactile feel of the grey buttons on my parents’ old telephones (which were sorta like this White House phone, but without the “this line is non-secure” warning), and
  • Using payphones and a “special” number to make free long distance calls as a kid.

Do you have any particularly sharp phone memories? I know COD has fond memories of calling the operator and asking for a number by exchange. Or was that Andy Griffith?

Posted in Childhood Memories, Pop Culture

COD September 24, 2010, 12:27 pm

You thought you were being funny, didn’t you? When we lived on Kwajalein Island (83-85) there were only a handful of phone lines that could connect back to the states. So if you wanted to call the states, you placed a reservation with the operator and she called you back hours later when it was your turn. Then you were limited to 20 minutes. And you couldn’t do it during business hours (except for emergencies) because the phone lines were reserved for official military business.

Ryan September 24, 2010, 1:50 pm


When I said that, I half-thought that perhaps your family’s travel as a youth may offer up some interesting phone stories… but reserving time and waiting hours to make a call! Holy crap.

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