Thursday, October 13, 2016

Strangers on the Road

How does a conversation in Dodge City, Kansas go from Kim Kardashian to a friend connected to our small town?

While finishing our hotel breakfast in the common area, my husband read aloud something to me from the newspaper about Kim Kardashian.  Obviously overhearing this tidbit and noting the tone of voice my husband was using,  a fellow traveler at the next table concurred causing a brief conversation about to where we were traveling.  Turns out we were coming from Iowa and that is where he was headed.  We learned about his motorhome which was for sale, where he lived in Kansas and a  few other bits and pieces of vague personal information.

Getting up to leave our table, a lady walked by and addressed the three of us.  She had heard the world "Iowa" and said the state was also her home.  Of course, we asked where in the state was her home and her answer was Marshalltown.  We did the "Oh, my. Our sister lives in Conrad" dance.  (Conrad is only a few miles north of Marshalltown.)  After the exchange of names with no recognition , I remembered my friend  Mr. G, well known English teacher from from that city. Sure enough the stranger certainly remembered him from her school days.

I love meeting strangers on the road and comparing our commonalities.  The world is not only small, but it is full of very nice people.

This was originally where this post ended. Thus, the title Strangers on the Road.

While still in amazement over this encounter, I had yet another. About three days later, now settled in our winter home, I needed to find a physical therapist.  With no recommendation to find one, I just took a chance and walked into a random office.  After asking questions, I made an appointment and returned the next day.

The friend I spoke of in my first encounter is part of a special discussion group composed of fewer than 10 people.  My next small world story concerns two other member of that same small group which meets weekly at the library in a town of about 560 residents.

My physical therapist grew up many states away from Arizona.  Turns out he is acquainted with the Illinois son of Mr. and Mrs. H. two of my other discussion friends.

The world just keeps getting smaller. Maybe there are no strangers.

Monday, October 10, 2016


I found another page of wisdom in my paper stacks

that I wish to share.  Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Just a little clarification

I am starting to think if I didn't have to clarify information on my blog, once in a while, I wouldn't have anything to write about.

Recently, I wrote about The West End Cafe, The Skelly Station and our unique hometown telephone service. Threading all these establishments together was The Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway deserves a post all by itself and will show up sometime in the future.

The clarification needed is about the telephone company. Sam Woodhouse was the general manager of a consolidated unit. This job decription and position ended up with his grandson many years later. The organization went through a few changes and  finally was cut over to dial on May 15, 1969. Remember when I said I thought our little town was about the last in America to go to dial. Of course, once we caught up we had a cable T.V. system, a digital switch, and all the hallmarks of modern times.                  

A few years ago, a community committee formed to collect stories and information of our county's heritage and write a book about our county. It was published in 2011 after considerable time and dedication by many residents and former residents. One of the articles was about our local telephone company. Accompanying this article was a picture of "Mabel" at the switchboard. It is a picture worth a 1000 words. The article also outlines some of the unknown services that came with that time in our history. I mentioned a few in the earlier post but think there are a few more that readers might enjoy.
The operator knew when the funeral started.
She knew where the Dr. was.
She knew that so-and so was out of town today.
The operator took a fire call and called one or more fireman with instructions.

She also blew the noon whistle. Now there is a custom that has been gone long enough that it might need an explanation for younger generations.

I loved hearing the noon whistle when we went to town.

I think I grew up at a great time in American history.

Mabel at the Switchboard