Telephones

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Telephones. It use to be that getting a phone call was an event. Everyone had one telephone, that came in any color, as long as it was black, that sat on a shelf in the hallway. Colored phones didn’t come out until the late 60’s when the Princess Phone, I know because I had a pink one that matched our bedroom (that I shared with my sister). I don’t think she ever liked that pink bedroom. I had my own telephone number. I was working as a long distance telephone operator at the time.

Then my sister started working at the ohone company too, and she got her own phone, with her own phone number. Our mom would stand downstairs by the phone nook and listen to our phones ring. We use to tease her that we were going to install her own switchboard so she could answer all the phone calls. She was not amused.

At that time, you could not dial direct to other countries. It took a special overseas operator to do that and about three hours. First we had to call New York City, and then would forward to the country, who would forward to the city or town and hopefully to the person. I did a lot of those calls because I could speak (at the time) just enough Japanese, Spanish and French to get the call through. I also did ship to shore calls and often made calls for my dad from his boat. No such thing as cell phones then and when they did come out, they were called mobile phones.

You couldn’t even call many of the little towns on the Washington coast and in the mountains. They were considered to be a “ring-down”. Anyone outside of Seattle had to call Seattle first and then we called Forks, asked for the person and waited for them to call back. Not everyone in those towns owned their own phone. In fact, you didn’t actually own your phone anyway, you only rented it from the phone company.

Another bit of trivia… my great-great-grandfather put in the first telephone in Blyn, something I didn’t know when I worked at the phone company, and now I’m living in Sequim where he was a local pioneer.

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