Heart of the Home: Family Shared Telephone Party Line With Disrespectful Teenager

A reader talks about how her family shared a telephone party line with three other families, and how one disrespectful teenager annoyed them and made them happy to finally get a private line.

| Spring 2018

  • heart windows
    Home is where the heart is.
    Photo by Busse Yankushev

  • heart windows

How well I remember the four-party phone line we had back in the early 1970s.

Most of our neighbors were polite and considerate of the party line. However, there was one disrespectful teenager, probably in junior high at the time, who was not. Frequently, whenever we would pick up the receiver to make a telephone call, he would be on it and immediately — and literally — scream "GET OFF THE PHONE!"

He also liked to play the trumpet on the phone for long periods of time. My ears still hurt just thinking about those unearthly screeches. Al Hirt he was not.

I don't know whatever happened to "trumpet boy," but I'd like to think he kept practicing, though not while on the phone, and that he improved.

Our family was sure happy when the party line finally dissolved and we got our own private line. Our ears were thankful, too.



February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.


Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds