Tuesday, April 29, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories - One Ringy Dingy Two Ringy Dingy

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

We had rotary dial phones when I was a kid, one in the kitchen, one in the den, and one in my parents' bedroom. Instead of saying the telephone exchange when asked for our phone number, we'd say "Cherry 2..." or "CH 2..." instead of saying "242." We've had the same phone number since the 1950s. I used to be able to remember our neighbor's number across the street because we called them so often to see if they could come out to play, but I don't remember it anymore. I think their exchange was "Cherry 4."

Here I am having tea next to my toy phone.
This isn't what our phone looked like. I can't find the photo I wanted to share.

Every time the phone rang, my siblings and I would rush to answer it first. It was rarely for one of us, but we liked answering the phone and finding out who was calling. Whenever someone called for my mom, I'd ask, "Who was that? What'd she/he want?" I was so nosy! I still catch myself about to ask her even now!

Close-up of a rotary dial phone (R. Sull. Dhscommtech at English Wilipedia, 2008. 
Wikipedia Creative Commons)

We kids didn't stay on the phone long when we did use it. It was mainly to see if our friends could come out to play, but we usually walked over to their house instead. If a friend called while we were out playing, our mom would say "She's/he's outside." That was the clue to come on over!

Sometimes we'd call our dad at work and ask him to bring home some food item (as in, candy or cereal!) from The A. S. Pendleton Company wholesale grocery warehouse. Instead of calling him at work to ask him when he was coming home, I'd sometimes wait for him at the end of the driveway.

When our mom started working for our dad after we were all older and in school during the day, we'd call her to complain about something one of the other siblings had done. I'm sure she'd "loved" that! We'd issue threats of "I'm calling Mama!" or "I'm calling Daddy!" to try to get our siblings to do what we wanted or to get them to behave. Sometimes all I had to do was pick up the receiver and act like I was about to dial to get the desired results from my siblings!

Sometime in the 1970s, my parents got touch tone phones to replace all of the rotary dials. Things sure have changed. I use my mobile phone 99.9% of the time now.



  1. The thing that's so funny about kids (pre-teen and teen) today is that they DON'T rush to all answer the phone like my brothers and I did when we were kids. They know nobody will be calling them on the landline; they'll get texts on their cell phones!

  2. Well, my replies aren't showing up! Probably operator error.

    I can remember us practically knocking each other out of the way to get to the landline. The younger generation wouldn't do that these days. The call wouldn't be for them. Lol!