On Saturday afternoon as we strolled Boylston Street from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum back toward Copley Square, Joyce bowled over in laughter a couple times (anyway), mostly in reaction to my valiant efforts to sell her Red Sox tickets. “SOX TICKETS! WHO NEED TWO?” I would bellow out at any random passersby, and for the most part, we wouldn’t even get a look. “GET YER SOX TICKETS HERE!” Nothing. I will say Joyce tried a couple little yips (they weren’t even close to bellows) and got a nibble at the hotel from some guy who offered her $50 for her $180 worth of Section 18. Hey, it’s a supply and demand market and there’s not much demand for our nine as the season slowly drains empty.
Anyway, just as we were descending toward the Hynes Convention Center, for some reason we began discussing the days when one had to only circularly dial 7 digits to reach a neighbor, friend or foe. Joyce then asked if I remembered the lettered prefixes the used to represent the first 2 numbers. I recalled the concept, but didn’t remember any the way she did. There was “KEy” (53) in Leominster and “DIamond” (34) in Fitchburg. Back then, when you gave someone your number, you’d say something like, “DIamond 5-7654.” Researching this post, I found the way cool Telephone EXchange Name Project, where you too can check out your old lettered prefixes, if you were old enough to have one.
It’s funny how we remember things like that. While I’m not old enough (I couldn’t resist…) to remember my actual lettered prefixes, I will probably never forget “245-8654.” That was Mike Gonnella’s number when we were growing up in Wakefield. I dialed it on our yellow rotary phone in our kitchen, and I was pretty fast, too. You had to be, because when it was busy (and with four brothers, it often was), it was busy. There was no call waiting, voicemail or even manual tape answering machines. You just had to keep dialing that memorized number and hope “Buckwheat” was off the freakin’ phone. Now that I think about it, I don’t even know Joyce’s number. I just press one button on my phone and it dials. Oh, wait. I remember her home phone. It’s “DIamond” something… I’ll never forget that one either.