It’s for you

One thing Fillyjonk remembers about dormitory life:

I remember there were wall-phones in every room. I bet now dorms don’t bother with that and expect students to have cell phones. And I had a “calling card” (remember those? They were like a portable long-distance plan where you could call from any phone that did long distance, and it would be charged to you) so I could call my parents. (I think once or twice, when I didn’t have the card handy and it was an emergency, I called collect — probably something else today’s kids don’t know about — but I understood that was an emergency thing because of the expense.

I was insane enough to order my very own single-party line for my dorm room, which cost a fair sum of cash during an era when minimum wage, about the most a student could reasonably expect in those days, was a buck-thirty. (And yes, I remember the number.)


  1. Gail Hapke »

    8 August 2018 · 10:40 pm

    I had my own phone in my dorm room, actually a little efficiency apartment, and my roommate used it to call her boyfriend in California (I’m in Illinois) every day for a month. Then she moved out before I got the bill.

  2. McGehee »

    8 August 2018 · 11:08 pm

    I remember direct and collect, station-to-station and person-to-person, but I only ever heard about party lines and answering only to your own ring.

    Exchange names had gone away by the time I knew anything about phones, but the phone at the home of one of my brother’s friends still had one on the dial.

    That was when you didn’t own your telephone, and the phone company had to come to switch it out because you weren’t supposed to monkey with their wiring.

  3. Roger O Green »

    9 August 2018 · 10:23 am

    IN-state calls from New York Telephone in 1972 were FAR more expensive than out-of-state calls. I know this because my call from New Paltz to Binghamton in May 1972 was $39.50. Of course, it WAS for over 2 hours.

  4. CGHill »

    9 August 2018 · 5:39 pm

    It wasn’t just New York; most places I lived in those days soaked the in-state caller.

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