Bell Tell

04/16/2021 2 By BuddyCushman

Not really, good old Bell Telephone, but it’s a phrase I remember and pretty much the only company you got in the ear-to-ear, handing on the wall, 20-foot curly cord so as to be able to walk around the kitchen and prep dinner or prep the dishes or scramble some eggs and drop the toast in the toaster – all while talking. The good old days of long telephone cords.

I’m not much of a telephone guy. Them mobile now, smarter than me – way smarter. Chips, cameras, Netflix in the coffee shop upholstered chair. All that. But, in terms of using the thing to dial and call another human, not me so much. I’m thinking we are all “built” in our own unique ways – the bozos on the bus thing notwithstanding – and I’m just not built to be a telephone kind of man.

So, today, Friday, has been an outlier. Early this morning, strolling the front door street, I called my sister Nancy in Wareham, Massachusetts. Long time no call. Later in the morning I called Sandy, my older sister, somewhere down there winding down the Florida ‘snow birdy’ thing before heading back up to Manchester, New Hampshire. While on the line with her I saw a call coming in from my number one pal Gavin in Oakland, CA and not having the high tech skills to answer a call when on another, it was 45 minutes later before we hooked up. And an hour or so ago, 1:40, while on a walk up to Reed College and back amidst the abundant sunny warmth, I called Butch, my high school neighbor and oftentime running buddy and active friend over all these last 50 something years. He was listening and offering a listener’s comfort from the shoreline of the Florida Panhandle.

Each of these calls lasted a long time, in fact way longer than I generally do or (even) can tolerate. The speaker option helps, though mostly I use that to play Beach Boy songs while on walks. Today I used it to share what and how my life is today, this middle-of-April Friday, and hear their thoughts on how it is – my life – today.

It helped.

Alexander Graham Bell – yeah, I guess the guy had his moments. Plus, and he’d have liked this I bet, we get cool screen savers now.