Let’s start with a random memory!
Random Memory: Kids do not remember the time we had to “place” long distance calls! It was before cell phones, before area codes… It was a time of local and long distance operators and party lines and high costs!
Mom and Dad would call home (Arkansas) once a month and the process started about noon time. Dad would call the operator and ask to be connected to the “long distance operator”. He would say “I would like to make a call to Helen Strayhorn in McRae Arkansas, two-shorts and a long.” He would talk to the operator for a few minutes getting specific instructions and possible waiting times and then hang up. For the next hour or so, we would stay very near to the phone making sure that any incoming calls were dismissed quickly unless it was the pperator… We were waiting for the elusive “long distance operator”.
Ring! Ring! Hello…”This is the long distance operator, please standby”. We could plainly hear her start the call by saying something like “Hello, Phoenix Operator, this is Los Angeles calling, please connect us to McRae Arkansas” to which the second operator would say “Please stand by”.
This process would take 10 minutes as the phone call was routed from LA to Phoenix to Alberqueque, to El Paso, to San Antonio, to Houston, To Little Rock, to Sercy Arkansas, and finally that “short-short-long” sound.
Grandma or grandpa would answer the phone and there would be a quick exchange of “How are you”, “How is the weather”, “Is so-and-so OK?”, and a “Good bye, Love You”! That occurred in about one minute, maybe two. Why? It was really costly to call!
Listen to Dragnet circa 1951…
Before direct distance dialing (DDD) all long-distance calls were established by special switchboard operators (long-distance operators) even in exchanges where calls within the local exchange were dialed directly. Completion of long-distance calls was time-consuming and costly as each call was handled by multiple operators in multiple cities. Record keeping was also more complex, as the duration of every toll call had to be manually recorded for billing purposes.
Paul did his morning walk but it was “interrupted by a call from Brian and Jan Finch. We asked them to join us for lunch as we found an English Pub on 17th Street in Santa Ana. They called to say yes so Paul did a 180 and headed home a little early.
Several places along the walk were mirrors in the trees… No! It was not from kinky birds but from wise homeowners who needed help backing onto the street from a blind spot. The mirror below had a very hansom person standing in from of it!
Back home, clean up, and head to “The Olde Ship” British Pub in Santa Ana. The place was wonderful! Paul and Brian did the rounds exploring the nooks and crannies of the establishment!
Click to enlarge the picture below and look at the caption… It says “I TOLD YOU SO!” Quite funny!
This is a closeup of the top of the picture… we looked for British flags but alas, none were spotted. Must have been the Spanish at the end of the earth!
Brian found a friend… Mr. Bones the pirate. Oh, that is Brian on the left!
The designs (circles) in the glass are not really designs but artifacts left from the manufacture of the early glass.
We stayed at the restaurant a couple of hours. Sue found vegetarian samosa’s plus a vegetable English “pie” which was wonderful! The rest of us had “bangers & mash” or sausages and mashed potatoes. They were called “bangers” as in England they us a lot of bread in the stuffing (especially during WWII) and the brad would expand in the casing and often explode with a “BANG!” in the oven… Hence the name “bangers and mash”.
We laughed and giggled all afternoon. We headed home about 4:00 PM after a spot of tea.
Returning home, we watched some TV and then finally crashed about 11:30 PM. We got to the last of Grey’s Anatomy so now we have to find something else… Oh dear!