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

Author Photo
By Helen &Mdash; Belle Plaine, Minnesota | Mar 27, 2018

Photo by Busse Yankushev
Home is where the heart is.

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.

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