Judith Schlinkert Toxey
CHILDREN, DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE!! In 1963, there weren’t yet any smartphones, cellphones, cordless, or touchtone phones, no answering machines or voicemail. At our home on Shades Crest Road in Vestavia, we did have at least 4 phones…rotary, desktop, wall, and a princess phone throughout the sprawling bi-level. We had all been taught how to politely answer & take a message. So my 2 brothers & I found it strange in the autumn of 1963 that our parents suddenly instructed us NOT to answer the phone. The tone of their voices when they gave this directive conveyed urgency; we obeyed, of course. Just let the phone ring, they said, or one of us will answer it!
It wasn’t until years later that we would come to understand why we could not pick up the phone during that turbulent time. September was always my favorite month, and remains so to this day (more…)