Saturday, May 01, 2010

Calling Long Distance

Back in 1967, Cuppa and I had only begun to go out just a few months before I headed off to university. My place of residence that year was in an old building with long halls. It wasn't exactly the Ritz, but it was maintained and functional, and unlike the newer residences, the rooms were a good size. So, I was fine with the place as I was with the whole university experience, which I loved.

I had worked for a year after high school and was mature and motivated enough to really appreciate and enjoy higher learning. It was a nice campus, and my classes were relatively small, which worked well for me and how I best learn.

But I missed my Cuppa. We wrote a lot of letters back and forth, and I got home on most weekends, but I still missed her.

At some point I discovered that the school's telephone switchboard was located in my residence. It was the old fashioned kind but standard for its time. The operator would put the necessary plugs in the appropriate holes as they did in those days. I learned that the school had an open line to Toronto, and while it wasn't meant for frosh such as I, I could make use of it if I went down to the switchboard room, which I began to do with some frequency. Come eight or nine o`clock, I`d head downstairs and ask the operator if the line was free. More often than not it was, and he [sic] would let me dial Cuppa on the public phone in the switchboard room.

People were careful about calling long distance in those days. There were no long distance plans as there are now, and it was relatively expensive to talk across the miles, so making the trip downstairs was a way to save a few bucks and keep in touch with my sweetie.

I get all poignantly wistful thinking of those times on a Saturday morning forty-plus years later. Life was good. It still is, but you know what I mean.


Donna said...

...I use to be the telephone switchboard operator for our Holiday Inn hre in town...right out of high school...LOL...What a job!!

Mary said...

AC, I worked for Bell Canada as an operator during the 70s. Lost my job when they changed to computers.

Enjoyed your walk down Memory Lane.


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I remember those crazy days in college when besides school I was obsessed with staying connect with my girl friend, (future wife). I would go home on weekends and then Sunday night write her a letter which she would get the day before I got home the next weekend. After seeing her on the weekend I really had nothing to write about Sunday night and come Friday afternoon I would tell her all about my week in short order. Awe to be in love!
I still have all those letters neatly tied with a ribbon.

The cure for that was we got married at the end of my second year. She had to work for a year first for in those days the public school only hire single female teachers.

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

So much has changed, especially the attitude towards long distance. It was almost like some sin to use long distance when I was young. As my father told me, "If you ever call, somebody better be dying." It was a very strange puritanical time towards expenses!!! Now I have a Blackberry and an outrageously expensive monthly plan and don't blink an eye.

Lorna said...

I worked a long time ago for Bell Canada as a service representative and since then I only perform well on the phone when it's business-related. When Dave was travelling, in our first year together, I wrote him every morning. My kids no longer woke up at 6, but I did, and I'd play Elton John or Procol Harum and write love letters until 7. It was a glorious time.

Ginnie said...

Your Cuppa is a very lucky lady. A marriage like yours has become almost non existent and it's wonderful to know that some of them (like yours) still survive.

Cathy said...

Yeah. I know what you mean. Where did the time go?