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Old 09-21-2014, 06:45 PM   #21
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I have fond memories of my mother writing long letters to her sister who lived in Florida. Aunt Rosie had 5 kids so she and Mom would share family news in long handwritten letters. Most times they would enclose pictures so us cousins could see how everyone was growing up. It was exciting to find one of these letters had arrived in the mail.

About long distance phone calls..... when I picked a college I made sure it was one that was in another area code so that my parents didn't call all the time. I needed it to be an effort, and expense to call me.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:41 PM   #22
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It was most important to stay in contact. Who knows? ... but for this crime I might have been single today.
I guess it's okay to tell her by now. But back then she probably thought you cared enough to pay the full freight.....

Yeah, I do remember 3 cent stamps. Our telephone was a big heavy black one with a rotary dial. It lived on The Telephone Table in the living room. Like Meadbh, long distance calls were short and expensive and limited to major holidays and when someone was born or died.

I like E-mail. We use it a lot to stay in touch with family. Not as disturbing as a phone call, read and answer at one's convenience.

I am reminded of a lady in our office before I retired. She associated computers with work and the hellishly noisy dot matrix printers used at the time to print out our carbon copy forms. She was infuriated that her husband wanted to put a computer in their bedroom - she did not want one of "those damn things" in the sanctity of that room. Then she found out that she could get E-mail and photos from her grandchildren on the other side of the continent. Now she wants it on HER side of the bed.

That, folks, is what they used to call a "killer app" that gave a compelling reason to buy a computer. In her case the killer app was E-mail.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:43 PM   #23
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My sister, 5 years younger, never got a drivers license and took the bus to work for years. She hand writes me a 5 page letter every 6 months or so updating me on her family. She has no cell phone but has a landline phone. Every time I call her, which is not too often, I generally get the answering machine and leave a message. She usually calls back, but I don't recognize the number of who's phone she is borrowing. Definitely not a tech person!
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:22 AM   #24
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I used to talk a lot on a landline phone. Then gradually switched to mostly email and cell phone. Now my communication is almost all done by texting. I haven't hand written anything but sketches and small lists in years.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:08 AM   #25
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When I was a kid, living in Hawaii, AT & T was the only long distance provider. It was well over $1 a minute to make a call, even in the mid 60s. We used to record cassette tapes, and mail them back and forth to the mainland. Sort of like a verbal letter.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:20 AM   #26
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Here is another one, mail orders, especially from a far away place like Hawaii.

I used to like to mail order some 'junk' as a kid, when I was 10 years old or so. I would see ads on the back of the comic books, and request catalogs. I thought it was cool to get mail too. Things like spy glasses, fox head pelts, magic tricks, etc.

I would write for a free catalog. It would take at least 4 business days for the company to get my request from Hawaii, more likely over a week. They would send a catalog. It would take at least another week to get the catalog.

I would fill out an order blank, and total it up. Then, give my mom my allowance money, so she could write a check out to put in the envelope. Then, mail it. A week later the company would have the order form and money. Then process the order.

They would package it up, and mail it. Most likely, not same day shipping back then, but well over a month from the time I sent for the catalog, if I was fast and efficient with my order, I would have the 'stuff'. Today, we can get the stuff later today sometimes.

Of course the thing I really wanted from the comic book ads was a pet monkey. They did not ship to Hawaii, or else I would have ordered one.

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Old 09-22-2014, 08:34 AM   #27
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I don't currently subscribe to any newspapers or magazines, but I do occasionally enjoy having a book/paper/magazine in my hands. Mostly, though, I read online or on a "device"...

I still send birthday cards and handwritten letters a few times a year.

We were on a party line until the early 70s.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:42 AM   #28
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It makes me sad when I go to a nice restaurant and I see a couple sitting opposite, both on their smart phones. But if they are happy doing it......

I agree. I went to a fun birthday party at a restaurant last night, probably about 25-30 people stopped by.

We started out at the bar before moving to tables pushed together. At the bar (where you can't easily talk unless the person's next to you), the smart phones whipped out and thumbs were flying.

I have a smart phone, but it was intentionally left in the car in the parking lot. The night was for the birthday girl and she was right there!
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:20 AM   #29
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Off topic, but a little bit about writing letters... I haven't written in cursive (except for my signature)... for at least ten years. So, about memories... how about the hundred of hours spent in penmanship in grammar school... in pencil, then dip-in-ink pen, and on the blackboard. Wasted.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:47 AM   #30
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Not necessarily wasted. Very handy when writing your name in the snow.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:00 AM   #31
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I remember those ads! Were those for real? Did they really ship live monkeys?

Anybody know someone who actually got one?
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:04 AM   #32
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I remember those ads! Were those for real? Did they really ship live monkeys?

Anybody know someone who actually got one?
When I was a kid you could buy monkeys and even caiman (like alligators) at Kmart. My neighbor bought a monkey and it was an absolutely terrible pet. I'm sure that was the common outcome.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:05 AM   #33
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Not necessarily wasted. Very handy when writing your name in the snow.
Takes a lot of control to dot the i's.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:12 AM   #34
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When I was a kid you could buy monkeys and even caiman (like alligators) at Kmart. My neighbor bought a monkey and it was an absolutely terrible pet. I'm sure that was the common outcome.
I got curious and did some Googling, and found this very interesting article. The guy talked to a lady who used to work at one of the places that fulfilled the orders for these, and also a guy who got one as a kid. And yes, it does sound like most people would have had a terrible experience with these as pets:

Pop!: Comic Book Squirrel Monkeys - Comic Book Resources
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:28 AM   #35
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"Staring at their palms" means that children can be seen and not heard!!
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