Wednesday 2 June 2021

Ink…Pencil…Contact List…Memory

I realized just lately that I only remember three or four phone numbers, my home and cell numbers, my buddies home number and Louise’s cell…on a good day. For all of the other numbers that I use on a regular basis, I rely either on speed dial or my contacts list. I have a digital address book on my computer and on my cell I have all of the numbers that I could possibly need. If there is a number that somehow isn’t in my contact list then I just have to Google the person or business.


I suppose that with aging and potential lapses of memory this is a good thing. I am not convinced that I will be able to remember just how to access those contact lists, but then I wouldn’t be able to find a hard copy address book either. Hopefully, the people I need to talk to will willingly call me to either check up on my health or to verify that I have yet to die which may just be the same thing.


It wasn’t always like this. There was a time that I had thirty or forty phone numbers memorized. Of course there was no other option. If you wanted to call someone and were at home you would have an address book on the telephone table with the white and yellow page phone books provided free to every household in the country. The memory came into effect when you were out and about trying to track down your buddies that took off somewhere without letting you know. I always carried a few dimes so that I could call one friend or another that might know where everyone went.


I bought a wallet that came with a very small “little black phone book” that fit neatly into one of the card slots. I liked to think that I could fill it with the phone numbers of  girls that were attracted by my good looks and smooth patter. I think we all know that I filled it with those numbers I had trouble remembering, work and other business numbers that I needed from time to time.


A person’s life can be measured by the phone books that he uses at certain ages. A young friend recently moved from Calgary to Vancouver in September of 2020. We had to change the address in the book. In February there was another address change within Vancouver. We had to change the address in the book. A couple of days ago we found out that there would be yet another address change and we will have to change the address in the book. Young people move around and it takes a while for them to settle.


Because of this, I looked at some of our old address books and found that many addresses were written in pencil, erased and written in again. The names were written in pen, but the addresses and phone numbers were subject to change. Back in the day you couldn’t take your phone number with you always so often the number changed with the address.. I had one friend that I would put a replaceable strip of paper over the address and number lines because the paper itself was wearing out. That little black book I was talking about is almost illegible because I carried it in my wallet in a humid back pocket for years and the names and numbers blurred together on the pages that touched.


I had a special “work” little black book that I kept co-workers numbers in. . I didn’t often have to call them but it helped when I needed names to go with the faces. It was a nice find when preparing to write this blog, remembering some of the people I had forgotten. I carried it in my mailbag and it also had the office number in case some “Postal” emergency happened, like a vicious dog attack, injury or the need to be talked down from killing a customer.


Most people are written in ink these days as friends and family seem to be more stable. Any changes with the old farts can be handled with “white out”. I guess I will soon have to start writing the grand kids addresses in pencil because you can bet that I will be calling them, not the other way around. Their lives will be far too busy being lived and how will they be able to fit old Poppa in to the busy days.


So, what are you? Ink, pencil, contact list or memory?


1 comment:

  1. I think I've got about 10 ph numbers stored in my brain and the rest are in Linda's address book.