The Old Telephone

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The Old Telephone

Post by WIZARD »

The Old Telephone

This is a very sweet, sweet story!


When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighbourhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my
mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was nothing she did not know. 'Information Please' could supply anyone's
number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my Mother was visiting a neighbour. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the Parlour and dragged it to the landing climbing up; I unhooked the receiver in the parlour and held it to my ear.

'Information, please,' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


'I hurt my finger,' I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. 'Isn't your mother home?' came the question.

'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered.

'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked.

'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the
hammer and it hurts.'

'Can you open the icebox?' she asked.

I said I could.

'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said the voice.

After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Scotland was. She helped me with my maths. She told me my pet hamster that I had found in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petie, our pet canary, died. I
called, 'Information Please,' and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring Joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?'

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ' always remember that there are other worlds to sing in....'

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please.'

'Information,' said in the now familiar voice.

'How do I spell fix?' I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Northwest . When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Yorkshire . I missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little

A few years later, on my way north to University, my train took me to Edinburgh. I had about a half-hour or so between trains. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialled my home town Operator and said, 'Information Please.'

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 'Information.'

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please tell me how to spell fix?'

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by now.'

I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?'

'I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.'

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

'Please do,' she said. 'Just ask for Sally.'

Three months later I was back in my home town a different voice answered: Information.' I asked for Sally.

'Are you a friend?' she said..

'Yes, a very special old friend,' I answered.

'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago..'

Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say you were special friend ?'

'Yes.' I answered.

'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.'

The note said, 'Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean.'

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Whose life have you touched today

Why not pass this story on to another as I have done....

Lifting you on eagle's wings. May you find the joy and peace you long for.

Life is a journey ... NOT a guided tour. So don't miss the ride and have a great time going around. You don't get a second
shot at it.

I love this story and just had to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it and get the warmth from reading it as I did in the retelling.

:D :D :D


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Post by Christine »

That has to be one of the nicest things ive read on this forum, bless ya heart for posting it :)
You get out of life what you are prepared to put in x

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Post by HEPZIBAH »

[face=Comic Sans MS]Thanks for sharing that Wiz. It goes to show that we never always know the influence and effect that other people, often strangers, can have in our lives.

I often think of some of the the teachers that I had, especially those from my nursery and primary school days, that are sadly no longer with us. It would be so lovely, now I realise how important they were to me in my formative years, to be able to say 'Thank you - you really made a difference in my life'. [/face]
Image Experience is not what happens to you;
it is what you do with what happens to you.
-Aldous Huxley

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Post by denisegr »

Thats lovely, brought tears to my eyes, I am such an old softy.
Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles,
but it does ruin today's happiness.

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Post by JOJO »

Ahhh that was lovely Wiz xx

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