2015-09-17 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Remembering old phone numbers

We’ve had a good week as far as rain and gas go. Gas prices are definitely down since last week. As of Sunday afternoon, prices on U.S. 78, west to east through Washington were $2.21; $2.28; $2.21; and $2.28. . . . Norris Ware on Hill Street reports 1.2 inches of rain for last week; and I got a whole two inches. … Sonny at Tyrone reports five inches for the month of September . August was a good month for Sonny with 9.2 inches recorded, compared to just 4.1 inches last year. Total reported this year through August is 35.7 inches. l

Eleanor Blackmon has retired as organist and choir director of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator after serving churches for the past 70-plus years. Eleanor began her music career at age 12 by playing the piano for church services in a little church where she and her family lived. She served the First United Methodist Church here for many years, and most recently at the Episcopal Church of the Mediator. l

Remember the Backpacks for the Appalachian Children sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Association. The goal is for 500 backpacks to be delivered to children in the Appalachian states before Christmas. Call W.C. Bentley at 706-678-7930 or Andy Perryman at 706-678-7381 for donations and information. l

I wonder how many people besides me get frustrated with trying to call somebody on the telephone and they are either not in the phone book or we get a message that the number has been disconnected. Most people have a cell phone and are reluctant to give out the number. I understand why. We don’t want any telemarketers or somebody trying to sell us something we don’t want calling us. But just to call friend to friend used to be a simple matter and if we couldn’t remember the number we could call the operator – a real live person – and get the number. The numbers were so short that most of us remembered most numbers. I remember that our number was a simple 94. Daddy’s number at Ford Motor Company was 24. Gloria Ogletree was 30-J; and Bootsie Lucas was 88-W. The drug store was 60 (and still is with a few numbers added to it.) Some of those efficient telephone operators who sat at a switchboard all day with all kinds of helpful information were Christine Wall, Iris Lance, and Annie Chafin. There are more but I can’t think of them right now. All you had to do to get help for an emergency call was to tell the operator and she had all your relatives on the line in just a few minutes. … No more of that. Now we have to practically sign our lives away to make a long distance call, especially one whose number we don’t know. But the operators had the magic touch and could find almost anyone you needed to contact in a hurry. Call me if you know other operators. l

It’s getting closer to the time when I will be leaving my home of 50 years on Lexington Avenue and going to my old/new home at the corner of Court and Jefferson streets. In preparation for that, whenever it may be, a great group of family and friends moved my Steinway baby grand piano last weekend. Thanks to Sparky and Mary Newsome, Molly and Mitchell Esswein, Daniel Newsome, Alexa Cathcart, David Harris, Mercer Harris, and Ryan Reese, we got the heavy instrument down the steps, across town, then up the other steps and into the living room. Moving a Steinway is no small job, but with the expertise and experience of the Harris boys (and equipment engineered by their dad, Troupe), they got the job done with ease. l

I ran across this bit of information recently and thought it might be interesting to readers of this column. It’s by Jay Leno. “With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, and severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?” l

How would you like to take an “Older Than Dirt Quiz? Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about. Ratings at the bottom.

Blackjack chewing gum.

Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water.

Candy cigarettes.

Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles.

Coffee shops or diners with table side jukeboxes.

Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers.

Party Lines on the telephone.

News reels before the movie.

P.F. Flyers.

Butch wax.

TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (There were only three channels.)


Howdy Doody.

45 RPM records.

S&H Green Stamps.


Metal ice trays with lever.

Mimeograph paper.

Blue flashbulbs.


Roller skate keys.

Cork popguns.

Drive-in movies.

Studebakers. Washtub ringers. If you remembered 0-5, you’re still young.

If you remembered 6-10, you are getting older.

If you remembered 11-15, don’t tell your age.

If you remembered 16-25, you’re older than dirt!

I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

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