Mason County News
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Down the Drain with Jane
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 • Posted July 27, 2011

Before there was push button telephones. Even, before there was dial phones. Even before there were the automatic, “Press one for English!” There were the “Crank Phones!” Every one had their ring. Except for the ones who lived in town and weren’t on a party line. The ring we had at Hilda was a long and a short. We learned to know our party line folks rings. Mary Jo’s was a long and two shorts. My mother was the Queen of eavesdropping! I can still see her sitting by the phone and when someone else’s ring would ring, she'd wait a tad and then pick up the phone! She’d carefully put a kitchen towel over the voice piece, so the other parties couldn’t hear her breath and any another noises. Her eye lids would go up and down with the conversations. Sometimes she’d make a sarcastic face or a funny face. It was her FOX NEWS! She’d find out who died or who was sick. And other information, that she really shouldn’t have heard. She’d tell us girls to watch what we said on the phone, as others could be eavesdropping! Funny how I was really careful with my conversations. I’d have to talk to my fellers at school. Texting wasn’t in the equation then. Our email was that of the US Postal service. Rings after nine PM were of trouble. Now, we have good old Verizon. My poor Daddy had a fit when he no longer could just give the OPERATOR a one ring. Wouldn’t he be in a heck of a dizzy over these new phones and the cell phones? P.S. It’s summer time and it’s hot, so compensate for Pete’s sake!

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