Pass It On

Ice Box Party Line









Recently the subject of things you remember that today’s graduates would know nothing about unless you told them.  Various people in the Trailmix Forum (always a good place to visit) started to add their memories, and I suppose this will continue for a while.  The following was my bit to the conversation.

Being an amateur genealogist I always tell people you carry the responsibility of 200 years of history.  If you don’t pass it on, it dies.  My grandmother was born only 15 years after the end of the Civil War in which her father and his brothers fought.  She lived long enough to see the Moon landing.  The stories I tell will most certainly make it to 2080 at the very least in the minds of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

My personal history started at the end of WW II in 1944, so I remember an actual “Ice Man” delivering the huge blocks to a real “Ice Box” in a military barracks at Hammer Field in Fresno in 1949.  My uncle had a grape ranch whose phone was an 8 home party line.  My first job out of high school was as a telephone operator at those big boards you see in history books and even in 1962 still had “ring down”  party phone lines in the California mountains.  You do not want to know how much I hate cell phones.

I’ve been through manual typewriters, electric typewriters, memory cards, earliest computers, and now internet with Twitter et al.  Love that I can find almost every song ever written on You Tube even if I still not only remember that my first Elvis Presley record was a 78 from a jukebox that a girl friend broke by sitting on it.  (We will not discuss how much that record would be worth today).  So yes I do know about 78s, 45s, EPs, and 33 1/3s on the record player dial.

Then there is the whole matter of wash tubs, early machines with “ringers”, irons that were still heated on stoves that became “steam irons” that became no irons.  So tell the stories.  Some day you will be gone and somebody will be sitting there upset because they wish they had asked you questions when you were still around.


About Jamie

Retired Writer Editor - Loves Books, Musical Theater, politics for a good argument, genealogy, Scotland and owls
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One Response to Pass It On

  1. oregondemocrat says:

    Jamie…I remember years ago when a friend showed me his computer and a service called Prodigy. I was overwhelmed. Now it all seems so unsophisticated.


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