“You know that is long distance.”
Words I have heard and words I have said back during the time you paid MA BELL, Extra, for any call outside the county and sometimes outside the city. I think about that when Sherry shares a long phone call with Rose, Johnny, Evelyn or Jack Jr. It is so nice she can chat for 15 to 60 minutes and the cost is the same. She can stay connected without having to pay attention to the old ‘3 Minute rule’. If I remember right there was a long distance charge for the first three minutes, then the price when up exponentially. An hour phone call could have easily ran into a hundred dollars if you were calling out of state.
Back when all long distance calls had to go through the long distance operator, she must have had a timer, because at three minutes on a pay phone she would come on the line and say ‘your 3 minutes are up, if you wish more please deposit $5.00’. As a military guy I had a pocket full of quarters when I left the ship, and straight to the pay phones and stood in the que, waiting my time.
Once My ship, the Independence pulled into J’ville, FL and when I finally got the phone it rang and rang, I said the ‘s’ word quietly, the sweet long distance operator came on to talk to me, she assumed I was calling my wife, “Sir, there are many reasons she may be out, give her and hour and call her again.” I will never forget how concerned that operator sounded. She didn’t have to say anything.
I did call back and Sherry had taken the boys to see Shakespeare in the park up in Norfolk. Now if it was today, she would have had her phone in her purse, but not back then, REMEMBER?
Communications! When we first started traveling I used to look over at Sherry and say, “No one that we know, knows where we are.” Back then we used the pay phone. Later the the miracle ‘Prepaid Calling Card’, you could buy minutes and give the card number when you called, but it was still from a pay phone.
(College kids found another way to use the booth)
Now we all can have immediate contact around the world. In most other countries the cost of minutes was much higher.
Times, they do change.
It is 1930 time…..