Author Topic: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"  (Read 2291 times)

Offline Telephonemans Daughter

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The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« on: March 22, 2013, 05:33:09 PM »
I hope you all don't mind, but I needed a place to come today and let my sadness spill over.  

My father passed away last week.  He was a telephone lineman for MaBell after returning from the Korean war back in 1954.  He stayed with them until MaBell was busted apart in the 1980s and became AT&T.  He worked a little longer with them until they forcefully retired a lot of workers 50 years and older, letting them go.  He still worked after that as a telephone technician with a University until he was in his 70s.  He absolutely LOVED his work and being 'The Telephone man'.  When he'd call any of us kids, he would always start the call off with, "Hello, Hello, the Telephone man says Hello."  Even after he was in a nursing home, if he called the house, after you answered the phone that is what he would say.

He worked out on the poles during all kinds of weather, working much overtime during winter blizzards.  He was the BEST 'daddy' a little girl could ever hope for growing up!  He was demonstrative with his affections, always letting us (there were 9 of us kids), kiss and hug him all the time, especially when he came home from work!  It was not uncommon to see my father with several of us kids hanging from him as he'd pick us up or we'd walk on his shoes with him.  He had our home rigged with all sorts of telephones all throughout the house.  He would even come over to our homes after we were grown to make sure all of our telephones were hooked up correctly, sometimes putting in more lines for us.  He never arrived to our homes without his tool box and 'spare' phones.

I found this site because I was fixing up some phones and taking them in to his nursing home for him to 'help' me with them.  He never lost his mind, although he would sometimes get lost in his memories as if the past were present, but he was always in the present with us when we came.  

He is so very much missed.  His obituary brought a really nice 'gift' to us kids.  A fellow telephone man posted a picture of my father he had taken of him one cold day they were working together.  My dad, of course, was up a telephone pole, and as always he was wearing his classic smile which showed his happy disposition on his job.  My dad was always an upbeat man, and as his fellow worker mentioned, he always helped the younger technicians.  He loved what he did, he loved telephones and he passed that love onto me.  I will ALWAYS keep classic phones around my home in loving memory of my father until the day I, too, pass.

I just wanted to share that picture with all of you.  


RIP Telephone Man  1930-2013

« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 05:36:51 PM by Telephonemans Daughter »
"Hello, Hello, the Telephone Man says Hello."  This was how my dad always greeted you when he called.

southernphoneman

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 05:41:50 PM »
hi,i am very sorry to here about your loss.i would like to request that all forum members who read this to please keep telephonemans daughter in your prayers. it sounds to me that your father was a very good man and he probably was a respected man in his field. again i am very sorry for your loss. you and your family. are in my prayers......southernphoneman

Offline gpo706

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 06:10:41 PM »
My condolences on your loss, thank you for your touching post.
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 07:04:54 PM »
I hope you all don't mind, but I needed a place to come today and let my sadness spill over.
I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Life is hard, especially when those who have been with you forever pass away. Your father was fortunate to have someone who cared so much as you did. He sounds like he was a wonderful man and a wonderful father! He will remain in your memory forever.

My sincerest condolences go out to you and to your family. I pray that when I pass, that my family will have as good memories of me as you have for your father. Bless you,

Dave
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 07:16:00 PM by DavePEI »
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Online TelePlay

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 07:36:40 PM »
I hope you all don't mind, but I needed a place to come today and let my sadness spill over.
I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Life is hard, especially when those who have been with you forever pass away. Your father was fortunate to have someone who cared so much as you did. He sounds like he was a wonderful man and a wonderful father! He will remain in your memory forever.

My sincerest condolences go out to you and to your family. I pray that when I pass, that my family will have as good memories of me as you have for your father. Bless you,

Dave

Well said, Dave . . .  I concur in my condolences to you and your family in this time of sorrow.
            John . . .

              

Offline G-Man

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 08:38:33 PM »
Your father was indeed the iconic telephone man as envisioned by Norman Rockwell:

Online AE_Collector

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 11:34:59 PM »
Sorry to hear of the loss of your father. My dad passed away April 3 coming up two years ago now. He wasnt a phone man but I miss him all the same. it is never easy....

I am a "phone man" who will be retiring likely the end of next month. I guess our jobs as telephone workers are not unlike others in the job satisfaction category but both my workmates and myself all get much satisfaction out of doing a good job and keeping the subscribers happy. In recent years I have worked in the Telco's CPE (customer provided equipment) area (competing with interconnect) and I think my motto over these years has been to always leave things in better condition than they were before we got there. There doesn't seem to be a lot of satisfaction in a " job well done" these days.

Terry
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 11:45:04 AM by AE_Collector »

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 10:37:56 AM »
My condolences on the passing of your father.  Thank you for the very moving description of him and your experiences and memories.  The photo is awesome and a perfect illustration for your description of the work he did.

I have an Uncle that is now in his late 80's that was a lineman for Michigan Bell in the northern part of the State.  I remember visiting he and his family in the summer time (we lived far away then).  When he came home for lunch he'd be in his Ma Bell truck and dressed similarly.  The kids would all come running when his truck came up the long, two-track driveway.  He had a similar disposition, always with a smile.  I think the phone companies must have done a good job of interviewing those workers as they all seem to be cut from the same cloth.

Thank you for sharing something so personal.  He would be proud to have read your post.

~Dennis

Offline dsk

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013, 11:59:13 AM »
My condolences on the passing of your father.

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Offline Telephonemans Daughter

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2013, 01:20:38 PM »
Your father was indeed the iconic telephone man as envisioned by Norman Rockwell:
Oh my gosh G-Man, that LOOKS like my Dad.  I don't know why I never saw this painting before, I love Rockwell paintings and I don't recall any of us mentioning this before.  I will send that picture to all my sisters and my brother.  From the ball cap to the plaid flannel shirt, that was mostly what my dad wore!

My father was always my inspiration in life.  His war stories led me to joining the service (Navy) out of high school, and I found it fit me perfectly.  He would travel to states I'd be stationed in and enjoyed my career right along with me over the years, even when I lived in Japan.  

When I was stationed in Japan, my husband, also active duty, was assigned to a ship.  The ship had left for a six month deployment to the middle east, and when it was returning, they sponsored what is called a "Tiger Cruise".  That is when male family and friends of the crew members could ride the ship from it's last port of call into the home port.  So I paid for my father to meet the ship in Hong Kong where he boarded it and rode it into Yokosuka Japan, enjoying several days along the way living life like a Navy sailor.  Once in port he stayed with us for a week on base.  During his stay I took him off base to drive around and see Japan and it's towns, and despite all there was to see, obviously my dad was only focused on the telephone poles because suddenly at one point he yells out to pull the car over because there was a Japanese telephone man up a pole.  He got out of the car waiving at the guy, taking his picture and calling out, "Ko-nichiwa"  "I'm a telephone man, too."  I don't know what happened to that picture.  I'd love to have it but the memory is there to stay.  I'm glad I was able to give him that experience.

Dennis -- I recall how you told me in an email that your uncle was a lineman, too.  I think you may be right, it was a certain breed of a man.  Many were coming home from the wars (WWII and Korea).  Or perhaps it was more about being part of that generation?  These men grew up during the depression and found joy in the simpler things in life like family and friends and the value of spending quality time together.  

My dad always told us kids many things, but two stand out from the rest.  #1 ... ALWAYS treat people with respect and never think you're better than anyone because you don't know where people have been or what they have done in their lives.  and #2 ... Keep a strong work ethic and take pride in your work as it will always be a direct reflection on you.  

AE_Collector ... I am sorry for your loss as well.  I don't imagine that March 13th will ever pass without me remembering what that day means to me either.  The nice thing about these holes in our hearts though?  It means that the person you lost was a big part of your life.  They were engaged in you and you in them, how else could they leave such a mark?  For all of us who have lost loved ones, and for those who know a loss is coming, as it comes to all of us in time, it is such a profound and surreal moment.  Its good to remember them and share the memories.  I used to say that to people who had suffered losses before I really knew what it meant, and now that I know, it is so true!

Thank you all for your well wishes.  I promise to stick around and engage more, especially when I get back out there looking for more phones.  I gave my brother a red princess phone for Christmas.  At the time he laughed about it, then at my father's viewing he remarked how happy he was now that I had found that and restored it for him.  I had even put in a red LED light for him (red is my brother's favorite color).  These were all tips I got here at this site from each of you.  I may not have posted much, but when I have a question, I came here and searched and found you guys already discussing things and covering it.  Thank you all.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 01:28:20 PM by Telephonemans Daughter »
"Hello, Hello, the Telephone Man says Hello."  This was how my dad always greeted you when he called.

Offline DavePEI

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 01:51:05 PM »
Oh my gosh G-Man, that LOOKS like my Dad.  I don't know why I never saw this painting before, I love Rockwell paintings and I don't recall any of us mentioning this before.  I will send that picture to all my sisters and my brother.  From the ball cap to the plaid flannel shirt, that was mostly what my dad wore!
And you will always miss him, but it does get easier in time. I lost both my parents in the past 5 years myself, too, first my mother and then my father a tear and a half later (was that mis-spelling ever a freudian slip, but I am going to leave it - of course I meant a year and a half later). From the pain I felt when each passed away, to the way I feel now, I will always miss them.

I remember at first, I would wake up groggily in the morning and think, "<G>, I should go next door and have coffee with Mom and Dad", as was my morning habit before they passed away. (We lived in the house which is now the museum, and they lived in the house we now live in, just in front of the museum house) Then I would fully wake up and realize that I couldn't - that they were no longer there. But it has become easier now -- I will always miss them, but have adjusted to not being able to see them.

It is funny how grief works. It works a bit differently in each of us. But one thing I do know for sure, it you will always love your father, and I am certain from wherever he is now, that he will be looking down with pride at you and loving you. He truly sounds like an amazing man, and he is so fortunate to have a child who loved him as you do!

Dave
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 01:55:34 PM by DavePEI »
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
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Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
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Offline MagicMo

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2013, 01:58:07 PM »
From one Telephone Man's daughter to another,
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I recently lost my Dad who was an IL Bell guy for 40 years. I think there is something to be said about the people who are part of the telephone profession, they all seem to be wonderful people. My Dad died in my home after a terrible bought of cancer so I feel your pain. My still broken heart goes out to you. This forum has comforted me more than you can imagine and has helped me through a difficult time. It's comforting to me to learn about something my Pop was so passionate about, telephone collecting.
I hope you make it through this difficult time with strength and resilience.
May your father rest in peace.
God Bless
Mo
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Offline Tom B

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2013, 03:44:02 PM »
My Dad passed 10 years ago now. My condolences and best wishes to you, as nothing other than time can minimise the loss. It doesn't go away - it just becomes more bearable. Hope you find the same is true
Tom

Offline Mr. Bones

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2013, 04:22:09 PM »
Thanks for sharing your warm, and heartfelt memories of your Dad, and my sincere, deep condolences to you and yours for your loss.

     My grandfather was a career lineman for Southwestern Bell, in the NE MO area that I hail from, after serving on the USS Connecticut during WWI.

     My Dad died in 1988... the hole that left in my heart is not any smaller now than then. I guess I've just slowly learned not to pick at it so much.

     I searched around, and found a higher-resolution version of The Lineman; better to use to send to others, as you had mentioned. Will print out better, as well.


Apparently, WE used the Rockwell painting for an advertisement, in 1953. Thought this might interest you, as well...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/330887646939

I am sure glad to have you here on the forum; please stick around, with us!

Best regards!
Terrence

PS: Thank you and your husband for your service to our country!
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« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 09:14:51 PM by Mr. Bones »
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: The Telephone Man Says "Goodbye"
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2013, 05:49:35 PM »
Telephonemans Daughter;
Sorry for your loss. Trust you had a good long relationship.
D/P

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