Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: On the Telephone (11/18/10)
TITLE: Telephone Evolution
By Ramona Cook
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We had no stores. The furniture stores sent salesmen into the small mountain towns to sell their goods and at some future point when there were enough sales to warrant the trip, a truck would make the deliveries.
In fact for a good part of my childhood we had no electricity. Yes, it was “backwoods.” But it is a beautiful part of my memories and of my confidence in my ability to survive. I know how to grow food and to preserve it. I know how to live without the modern conveniences. I can chop wood and wash clothes on a wash board, if I had to do so. But I will tell the truth; the gadgets and do dads we have today that make life easier and provides for us better availability for communication and travel, are preferred by me. I will not say that they are always better.
Before the telephone there was the pony express and there were smoke signals. Man has always had some form of long distance communication method. My Daddy taught us to use our hands to make a whistle through which we could blow air and let those from whom we were lost know where we were located. But telephones, I do not think I knew that they existed until I was about 13 years old.
My first telephone exposure in the home was when I turned 15. I went to live with an Uncle and Aunt in North Carolina. They had a telephone. It was a party line so it was not always available. Some party lines had more that two parties hooked to the same line. Oh boy! When they got a private line, I thought it was some kind of rich thing. It still had the local operator, whose first name you always knew and you hoped she did not listen in on your conversations. We did not use only numerical telephone numbers in those days. All the phones in that community were prefixed by “Whitney” then four numbers. I remember that we did not like it at all when our number went totally numerical. They changed “Whitney” to 947 and that part remains to this day.
What a fast paced world I have lived in and plan to live in for a while longer, if God agrees. Today I have a “land line” and a cell phone and a fax machine and the internet. But I do not say that all of it works as a better thing in all cases.
No. I have a great deal of problem with the telephone as I experience it now. It inflames my irritation of people who do not enunciate well and so do not communicate well; and before you think I speak of those who are not native speakers, I must say to you that respect for our English language has plummeted and our native speakers are afflicted by it.
My frustration is greatly enhanced by the auto-mated voice communications sources. I prefer to not do business with those who cannot give me the hopeful advantage of speaking to a real living person.
With all the faults of the telephone, I guess I would miss the spontaneous calls to and from family and the instant dialing to cancel or to make an appointment.
I do not know how the telephone works. I only know that it does. I do not understand how I can lay a sheet of paper with type on it on a machine, then dial some numbers and the type gets transmitted to any place in the world, but it does. I do not understand how God can hear my prayers and send answers back to me, but He does.
There is so much that I experience, and yet have no idea how it works. However, I continue to use the telephone and I continue to pray. I know a good thing when I experience it.
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