For the Love of a Telephone Table

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Photos by Linda Seccaspina-actual telephone table and bevelled mirror from my childhood

 

My very first telephone at the age of 3 was pink, and it was bought at the Ritz five and dime on Main Street in Cowansville, Quebec. I called many imaginary friends and had long conversations with them on that phone. Of course I never received any calls back, but I could bring it over to my sandbox and not worry about having to replace it from damage.

The pink phone was replaced by a black one that was hooked into the wall with a fabric cord and my Grandparents telephone number was “32” and ours was “1386”. I talked to many a local town operator some days until they persuaded me to hang up. Cutting the telephone cord one day with my plastic scissors resulted in my mother being incredibly angry that her canasta club friends couldn’t call her. Amazingly enough, I didn’t end up in a corner with soap clenched between my teeth. Just a terrifying warning to stop messing around with the phone.

Years later there was a new telephone that had a dial tone, and we now had 7 numbers to remember. The telephone had become a game some days as my friends and I would prank strangers and ask them if their refrigerator was running. We kids had no opportunity to venture into the cyber world via the internet as it had not been invented yet.  Children then made their own fun, even if it was a bit misguided, but the telephone held much fascination to us kids. There was no voicemail or Caller ID then either. Just a ringing phone or a busy signal. Two options – it was just that simple.

That same dial phone also gave out some bad news. I remember the day my mother’s friend called to tell us that Marilyn Monroe had died. My mother dropped the dish she was drying and grabbed the phone quickly to discuss her death. In 1961 we got an important call from Bousada’s appliance store to tell us that our new colour TV was being delivered. My parents in turn called most of the  Albert Street neighbours inviting them over to see the NBC peacock appear in colour just before “The Man from Uncle” came on.

 

I can still remember sitting at that telephone table more times that I can count with the large oval bevelled mirror above it that would reflect my different hairstyles I acquired during those years.

My family home was eventually sold on Albert Street, and the only thing rescued by a loving neighbour named Agnes was that telephone table and the large round mirror that I still have in my home today. After all, memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

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I remember sitting at that telephone table more times that I can count with the large oval bevelled mirror above it that would reflect my different hairstyles I acquired during those years.

My family home was eventually sold on Albert Street, and the only thing rescued by a loving neighbour was that telephone table and the large round mirror that I still have in my home today. After all, memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks for the memories. Yes the telephone table was a fixture for many years in most homes. My mother purchased hers 1954 and it provided service to the family for over 30 years. Rotary telephone on the desk along with a pad of paper and in the one shelf below the top, the Montreal white and yellow pages.

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