Hunkering Down XIII

It was April Fool’s1 Day yesterday. In the hunkering down is hard to do climate, I decided to do no tricks or jokes. Yesterday is already very old news. Back in the day2 news was not old as quickly. Newspapers in rural America were mostly once or twice a week unless one got one of the big city papers. But they were delivered by the mail carrier, so the most recent news was already a day or two old.

My paternal grandmother was a Bell Telephone switchboard operator, so she could be privy to any local news3, if she wanted to listen. But she was the early version of 911, so any call for help went through her. My maternal grandparents were on a rural party line, so that grandmother could also rubberneck on any of ten calls. If the bell on the wall phone rang one long and two shorts, she knew Tillie4 would be getting a call. She also knew if her phone rang (two shorts and a long), Tillie and perhaps a half dozen others would probably be rubbernecking. But whatever was heard on a party line was considered to be public, so the women sometimes talked in code. It didn’t really matter, most of them had learned pig Latin when they were schoolgirls5

Calling today is quick and mostly easy all over the world. We do have to buy a phone and pay for nearly service, but when I was in Europe during Berlin Wall times, it cost $9.00 a minute to call my wife in the states from a pay phone. For military calls, we had scramblers, but I’m sure there were rubberneckers from the other side listening in on our private calls in case we slipped up on some classified material. But we were doing that to them also6.

I am very thankful for having the time and a little experience to help my son with some work on his business site while he was meeting clients remotely.

Friends brought real Kona coffee from Hawaii when they visited 6 weeks ago. We’ve been selfish and not shared it with anyone. Now it’s almost gone. Sob-sob-sob!


Hunkering down postscript: Many octogenarians who may have thought digital social networking was foolish are now learning it’s the only to keep up with the kids.


Hunkering down random: Zoom isn’t just for cameras anymore.


  1. Should this be possessive or changed to plural? 

  2. Feel free to pick your own defining decade. 

  3. More likely gossip. 

  4. Not an unusual name for those days. 

  5. I’d explain pig Latin, but you can look it up on the internet without my giving you a link. 

  6. Remember Spy v Spy in Mad Magazine

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