PLeasant 48756…

Do you remember those phone calls home, the ones you made after ‘leaving the nest’ for the first time? I do, and from a pay phone.  My sister remembers, too, offering sentiments recently that it would be nice to make those calls, again. But, we can’t, of course.

I remember the calls and can ‘see’ it in my mind’s eye. Mother would answer, as the official ‘answerer’, and in a soft voice, I’d hear, “Hello?”, in a questioning way.

“Mother, it’s me, Stephen!”

“Oh, Stephen, hello!”

The uncertainty was gone and the enthusiasm returned, once she knew who it was.

We’d talk and she would hand the phone to my father, nearby, and we’d talk some more, often repeating myself, a bit louder each time. I could sense the ‘changes’.

Remember asking to reverse the charges? She always accepted them. Long distance calls weren’t cheap so we limited the frequency and duration.

Over time, the phones changed, cords went away and buttons replaced dials. The nature of the calls changed, too, from ‘just called to talk’ to ‘how are you feeling’. Eventually, with time passing, so do the people you love…the calls stopped.

Yesterday, the old family telephone number flashed into my memory, Pleasant-48756.  Don’t know why, but it did, and it opened a floodgate of memories, good memories.

Initially, our number was just five digit characters, 48756, but as telephone service demand grew, so did the creativity of assigning numbers, longer numbers, with letters.

The phone was ‘anchored’ on a small living room table, the ‘phone table’.  It was a cumbersome black unit with a circular number scheme in a dial fôrmat, corded to the wall. More importantly, the mouth/ear piece was corded to the base, and cradled on it when not in use. You never lost the phone because it was ‘anchored’ in the same spot for years.

The telephone kept families connected. Every bit of emotion could be sensed over the lines.  Good news and bad news was delivered over the telephone, by voice. We made plans and had private rendezvous with special friends. Of course, with the phone anchored to a spot, that privacy was problematic.

We all have mobile phones now, several to a family. No need to remember the numbers, just ask the phone to call by name. You can send text messages and avoid speaking to the other party.  Play games and music and get easily distracted by the new phone capabilities.  You can even wear the phone like a watch, well, it is a watch, too.  Yes, we’ve come that far.  Progress, I guess.

But it sure would be nice to make those old calls, again. We can’t, of course…

“Hey, Siri, dial Pleasant 48756….. for the Hell of it!”

Steve (srbottch.com)

For my sister, June

Published by

srbottch

Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative. My essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my essays, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Enjoy the run!

38 thoughts on “PLeasant 48756…”

  1. Hi Steve, You bring up nice memories. I too like the old phones. Our house still has them on every floor. Just now connected through the Internet. I remember my school days phone number too. The last 6 digits were the same as my service number in the Marine Corps. What are the odds? Again, thank. Jim Murdock

    Grandpa/Dad/Jim

    >

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jim, if I can help conjure up old memories, then I e written something good. With those phones, you might think about opening a tour day for young folks who have no idea what the old phones were like 😂. Thanks for your comment, Jim. Glad you liked it.

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  2. Hi Steve. Moving story. Awakes a lot of souvenirs like it was yesterday. With me calls never stopped. By the way I would like to hear you again… Can we make an appointment. Not in the morning French time because of the “tablets” I have to take. I will be next week in hospital 🏥 for my day-long injections of anesthetics.. So the week is not appropriate.
    Let’s call again +33950364738.i do not pay the phone calls, should it be expensive for you I would call.
    I do not need to speak to you to keep you in my mind. All the best to you, family and Mrs Daisy. X

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    1. That’s funny but true. Can you decline a FaceTime without looking snobbish (what, don’t care about us?)😂. It won’t be long before we can dial just by thinking about the person. Isn’t technology wonderful 🙀? Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Derrick, you were one of those ‘deprived’ kids, I guess. But with all the telephones in circulation now and how everyone’s busy with their them, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to slow down and go back to that time. 😉 Thanks for commenting, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post and memories. It was always a surprise to answer the phone in the old days. You never knew who was on the other end so you couldn’t avoid anyone you didn’t want to talk to. Now they have caller ID. I still have a landline but have a hard time remembering the number. I keep it if I need 911 so they can find me faster. Only sales calls on that phone. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, it is always nice to make those calls. And we know, just by the sound of the voice, how things are. I have our old rotary dial phone. When the grandchildren were visiting last summer, I hooked it up. Of course it worked. And how hard it was to dial all those numbers! We had the best time. Thank you for your wonderful and moving story, Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful sharing, thank you. I ‘met’ you (just now) via Jennie’s blog, A Teacher’s Reflections. I am injoying your blog greatly.

    Just the other day, I was thinking…. remember when we memorized everyone’s phone numbers and owned a physical address book? And dealt with the challenges of “party-lines”? (sharing phone lines) Now look at us. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s nice to make your acquaintance, Ren. Thank you for reading and commenting and I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying my simple stories and have ‘followed’ my blog. As the title of the blog indicates, they’re just musings of thoughts that pass my mind. Sometimes, it’s about family or friends and, of course, stuff I do, like school crossings, with a little humor tossed in for …well, because I think it’s funny. Jennie is very supportive and others have seen my blog because of her. I hope my blog makes you smile or think of happy memories in your life. That would make my day. Did you find the one about shopping on line or with QVC. It’s titled ‘I Was A QVC Virgin’. All my best to you, Sincerely, Steve

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I looked for the QVC post, but find on search option on your site. I’ll keep looking.
        I am sure your blog brings joy to many, as it does for me. Thank you for sharing with all.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t quite remember the days of 5 digit numbers, but I hold fond memories of the days when there was 1 phone in the home, in the sitting room and it largely remained un-noticed until it rang. Ah, I miss those days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree…although, I do like my Apple Watch which a phone, an alarm, a social media monitor and …wait, what am I doing? My watch is controlling my life. Help! You wouldn’t know it, but I miss them, too😉

      Liked by 1 person

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