Saturday, March 28, 2009
Oh, Those Rotary Dial Phones!
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 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.