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Author Topic: The Black Telephone  (Read 3240 times)


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Reply #15 on: April 11, 2013, 09:08:18 PM
Last night I received a card from one of my young students who unfortunately has to resign from the class as a result of school work in her last year at High School and this is what she wrote:

"Dear Anna and Dennis, Thank you so much for putting up with me these last few years. You have taught me life long skills, and I am so lucky to have had you as a tutor. Hopefully I will see you again at the end of the year (it depends in which university I attend), but until then, enjoy your holiday! I wish you the best of luck with everything you endevour to do. (signed Maddy Farrell)
P.S. I hope the chocolates make up for all the extra paper towels I stole!
P.P.S. Don't miss me too much :-)"

She produced many beautiful paintings over the last 2 years. I want you to notice that she majors more on the life skills than on the painting skills.

I have many such testimonials in my portfolio. Whatever you do - give much more than what people pay you for or what they ask of you. It eventually comes back to you a hundredfold in many other ways than just money  ;)

(I always wondered why my paper towel rolls were getting thinner, but could not find out why) :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


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Reply #16 on: April 11, 2013, 10:56:04 PM
Oh gosh how you make me all teary eye here. Love the story about the phone and also your note from the student, it is amazing when you hear how much you mean to someone  ;)
Just as much as you and Nolan mean to me  ;)
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see"


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Reply #17 on: April 13, 2013, 02:30:52 AM
 :-*   :-*   One for Maddy, one for me.  :'(   O0
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


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Reply #18 on: April 20, 2013, 07:17:18 PM
This was in an email I received today. Don't underestimate your influence over others:[/b]

The Black Telephone

I was born in an ethnic area of Detroit, Michigan a couple blocks from the Detroit River which separates Detroit from Windsor, Ontario Canada.  We lived on the front apartment on the second floor above a store.

It must have been summer with the front window open and I was a few months old and was screaming; non-stop.  This single lady several years older than my mother heard and thought she'd lend a hand, be company, or something.  Guess her and my mom became friends and she must have meandered by from time to time.

Three years later my parents bought a house in the suburbs maybe ten miles away and the lady would take the bus and walk down the street to our house.

When I was probably 11 or 12 she told us she was moving to Minnesota.  I don't think she left an address or telephone number.  I thought no more about it (as far as I remember).  I enlisted in the USN for four years.  It was probably a year, or two, after I got out I remembered this lady. 

Minnesota's a big state with lots of people.  I couldn't be sure I was remembering her last name, right.  I called information and said I'd like the number for this lady.  To my surprise, information came up with a number.  I called the number and the person who answered indicated I had the right place, but she had died six months before.

At the back of the shop, maybe six months after I got out of the USN, where we custom built industrial Induction Heating/Forging equipment there was a pay telephone.  I decided to give a guy still on the ship a call.  You can call the single line, but it might take five minutes for the guy to get to the phone.  I didn't want to pay for dead air time so I contacted the operator indicating I wanted to place a person-to-person call to a person on a specific ship at the Naval Base in Norfolk, Va.  The Operator had no idea how to do this.  I told her I could do this and she could listen in while I talked.  The lady agreed to that.  I knew what the base main number was (memory) and she made the connection to the base operator where I did the talking and the operator listened in.

The Officer of the Deck on the ship answered the phone and I told him this was a person-to-person call to 'specific individual'.  The OOD used the ship's public address system to tell the guy he had a phone call on the quarterdeck.  A few minutes later the guy answered the phone.  This was the point the Operator left the circuit and charges applied.


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Reply #19 on: April 20, 2013, 07:41:44 PM
Yep, the old farm telephones used to have a crank handle on the side to make the different rings - can still hear them in my mind. Sometimes when talking you can hear a receiver being picked up along the line and if you did not hear another click shortly afterwards then you knew that someone was listening-in. I would respond with, "Hier is iemand met lang ore op die lyn." (There is someone with long ears on the line) You quickly hear the next click as the receiver is put down. :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:

When my mom was a teenager growing up in a Copper Mining town at the tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula each phone had eight party lines.

When we'd be up there for a week during the summer my brother and I kept a close eye on the clock.  For a specific two hours we'd turn on a battery powered radio.  For those two hours we'd hear good music.  The rest of the time it was polka.

As a teen in that Detroit suburb there were two adjacent houses on a party line.

About fifteen years ago there was a surprising segment on the Nightly News.  It might have been in Nevada, but there was a town of forty households one hundred miles from a city.

Their telephone line was, literally, a single piece of copper wire. It probably went to a small central office in town which connected to the specific house.  Can you imagine if your 'ring' was forty rings?  Can you imagine if you lost count?

The new segment indicated a major phone company ran all new lines and that this was the last place in the continuous 48 states with single wire telephone.  I'm sure it was a write-off for the telephone company.

Hmmmm, now who's going to run fibre optic cable?


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Reply #20 on: May 17, 2013, 02:05:11 PM
We've already got fibre optic cable since 2008. Works fine.


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Reply #21 on: May 21, 2013, 04:07:06 PM
We've already got fibre optic cable since 2008. Works fine.

Who's going to run fibre optic cable for this very isolated town?


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