Thursday, November 12, 2009

Theme Thursday Telephone

This is a reprise of a post originally published earlier this year, 3/28/09. 


I posted a worthwhile 4 minute segment from Conan O'Brien's recent show with the comedian, Louis CK, on my other blog Women of a Certain Age. It's his take on the amazing technological advances for which we should be thankful and the silly sense of entitlement people have about them. One of the first things he discusses is telephones vs cells. He describes what it was like when you had to use a rotary phone and your friend had zeros in the number; the all the way around the dial rotary movement. It got me to thinking about my telephone numbers growing up.

My parents' home phone was Diamond 04266. You dialed DI 04266. We lived in the San Fernando Valley, an LA suburb. Ma Bell, known as Bell Telephone, was the provider. Western Electric was the manufacturer. If your phone broke or didn't work, Bell came out and fixed it for free! FOR FREE!!!! Their only rival was General Telephone. They were always the underdog, the phone company that sucked. They had a reputation for unreliability. You did not want to be on the General Telephone side of the Valley.

Over the twenty-two years my folks lived in our home, their phone number evolved only slightly. At some point, the phone company dropped the alphabetical letters, going numerical.  Ours became 340-4266 in the 213 area code. This is now the 818 area code. When I was 14, my parents bought me a Princess phone. They simply wanted the use of their home phone back. I was the envy of my friends. I had my own number, 340-4968. So, we had zeros in our numbers. And those zeros are what made the synapses in my brain write this post.

Do you remember your home phone number growing up? Or any of your old numbers? We had so few to remember back then. Now, we just store them and hit the receiver's name. But, it was kinda cool to have those old numbers and big blocky rotary phones. Our kitchen phone was dark red. My parents' bedroom phone was avocado green. My Princess phone was white. Was I a princess? Yeah. For a couple of years, I was.


I was Briar Rose, aka Sleeping Beauty, remember?

29 comments:

Pop and Ice said...

I had a princess phone and my number was (313) 264-3724. Then the area code changed to 810 and then to 586. But by then the number had changed as well. I don't remember the name of the exchange for our phone, but I remember exchanges in commercials on TV at the time, so I suppose we had an exchange. Actually, I just found a database that shows our exchange was CO COngress so it would have been CO4-3724!

Ronda Laveen said...

Hi, My name is Ronda and I always wanted a Princess phone. I didn't get one. The Princess phone always looked so cool, like the sports car of communication.

The closest thing I got was a transistor radio for my room. Our prefix in Redding (upper northern California) was Chestnut...CH 37628. Later, 243-7628. In our kitchen, we had a wall phone. I remember when we got the extra long cord. You could walk three rooms away and still talk. Nice memories you brought forth.

Susan said...

Hmmm, our phone # when I was little was JE2-0468 and when my mom remarried, it was MI3-2463. Amazing that I can remember those but not the previous one we had in PA 10 years ago! We've had so many during our 37 years of marriage.

I was so jealous of my friend Denise who had a pink Princess phone. We only had the standard issue black.

otin said...

Imagine if kids these days had to go back to what we grew up with!?

Brian Miller said...

my parents still have the same number we grew up with and if you go back in the dusty corner of the basement, you'll find the old rotary phone. smiles.

willow said...

I remember when my mother got a pink princess phone. It was so cool. I never had my own phone growing up. You were a lucky princess!

Tanna (The Brick Street Bungalow) said...

Yes, Briar Rose, I remember the rotary phones... and the party lines. Interestingly enough, in the not so distant past, I was in a position to make a phone call from a rotary phone... I had such a hard time. It amuses me how much we tie muscle memory in with dialing the numbers. Very difficult for me to translate touchpad numbers to rotary numbers! Or maybe it was just my own disability! LOL. Fun post.

Candie Bracci said...

Really nice post!Really sweet and yes I remember you evocked being a princess in a previous post!Have a nice day!:)
P.S:all women are princesses,it's just that we have too many frogs to kiss before finding prince charming and not to mention all the witches on the way too!LOL
In the adult kingdom of course!;)

Betsy said...

I just love those old rotary phones! I kinda miss them!

Kate Hanley said...

I still remember my phone number because it's still my mom's number and she still has the antiquated answering machine. I remember going from Rotary to touch tone - such a big deal. We never had a princess phone though, we kids were never allowed one of our own. Ah memories! Happy TT!

Stephanie said...

Lucky girl! Your own princess phone AND phone line.

R.J. Edwards said...

We had a black rotary phone with a long cord I must have stretched out twice its length. That was when I lived at my grandparents. Later when we moved my mom bought a little blue princess phone. I'd forgot all about it till I read your post.

AJ "Rohzi" Ellington said...

OMG, I feel like such a CHILD, lol. I'm only 24, and I did not grow up in the days of rotary phones. I'm not even sure if I've ever even seen one in real life, lol. I do, however, remember my old phone number growing up. 501-676-3291. I remember the day my parents got rid of the home phone and went to using strictly cell phones. It actually SADDENED me. It forced me to let go of my childhood and realize that times are changing.

AngelMay said...

Dear California Girl, ALL little girls are princesses. And so you were no exception. Maybe you still are. ;o)

e said...

Amazing but I still remember my grandparents phone number where I grew up...Happy TT!

Wings said...

I came after letters were used, but when it was still only 7 digits for each number. And the first 2 digits were the same for everyone in our city! So different now.

Poetikat said...

Not only do I remember my home phone number, I remember my best friend's number (I dialed it so many times, you see) a few other friends and my aunt's number. We had an avocado green phone too.

JeffScape said...

Actually, I can remember every home phone number I've had since... 1982-ish.

Crazy, now that I think about it.

Megan said...

243-8275! Wow it came back to me immediately. That was spooky.

Colette Amelia said...

ahhh the good old days! when the phone rang it was probably someone who you might actually know and someone you might actually want to talk to!

Baino said...

Well thank you, thank you very much as Elvis would say. I've visited three TT's who have mentioned Princess phones and didn't have a clue. No, I'm crap at remembering numbers even my licence plate! If I lose my phone I'm stuffed. Back to the old phone book.

The Silver Fox said...

In Oxford, Massachusetts, the first phone I was ever old enough to use was 987-5305. (Older Oxford residents recalled dialing "Yukon 7" [YU7].) In my youngest years, we only had to dial 7-5305. We were in the 617 area code then, but didn't need it. Later, it became 508, but that was years after several phone number changes. Eventually, one needed the area code at all times.

Nice memories evoked by this one!

...mmm... said...

you know, that's very godo question. I don't recall my old phone number now weven though we had it for about 10 years. Sill me.

As it is, now i only use my phone for time pretty much.

Marguerite said...

We kids had our own line, too, listed as "children's telephone" in the phone book and I had a pink princess phone and a pink TV in my room! Same old number at my parent's house, but a different area code.

Jaime said...

i actually do remember my first phone number. i haven't had that number in probably 20 years.

Dot-Com said...

Nice trip down phone memory lane. I can't remember a single one of my old phone numbers *lol* I manage my current mobile number, but even my work number is one I have to look up when I need to give it to someone!

Dreamhaven said...

My first memory of a phone number
was in worcester and it started with PL. I also barely remember a time that if it was a local call, you only had to dial the 5 digits. The world has become a much more complicated place (sigh).

Nancy said...

I remember FA - something.

Baino said...

Hey Cali . .you linked for today's theme (4th Dec) but no post. Is everything OK? You've been quiet on the blogs for a while. Miss you. Prophetically your capture is "quits", have you?