Telephone "Eunice"

In 1928, when I was 4 years old, we moved from one farmhouse to another only 3 miles away. This new home was in a Town Limit, thusly, we had electricity. In every room there was a bare light bulb with a pull cord hanging from the ceiling.

Also, on the wall was a box called a “telephone”. It was on a party line, and my Mother would not let us children get near it.
In 2 to 3 years a central telephone office was established. A central operator was moved into town. She was a 4 ft. tall midget with the name of Eunice. Now Eunice connected one to whom one wishes to speak.

You certainly remember either the original or rerun of “The Andy Griffith Show”. Andy would pick up the phone form the desk and say, “Sarah, get me Goober down at the Filling Station.” The setting of this show was the mid-sixties. Eunice was already in my town for 30 years. I believe she retired around 1970.

In all the years Eunice was the great connector, she was also a great communicator. She knew everything about everybody. She knew when we went to church, and where all the towns’ children went off to new endeavors.

Living in Chicago in 1951, I decided to check on the condition of my Dad, who had been ill. In midweek after dinner the long distance call was placed through the operator. I gave name and address.

In 1951 this had to go through circuits. First I heard a voice say “Cincinnati”. Then a voice said “Louisville”, then “Charlotte” then “Spartanburg”. Each time the Chicago operator would give the address. Finally, I heard Eunice’s mousey voice say, “Landrum Central”. Chicago operator said “Chicago calling Mr. W. C. Daniel.” Eunice said “Is that you, David? You know your Daddy is at prayer meeting!!” There was complete silence. We were dumbfounded.

David T. Daniel
Southbury, CT ©2012

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