Tuesday, September 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Phones today are wireless, but conversations remain grounded by love

By
From page B5 | March 10, 2014 |

There was a time when I loved to talk on the phone. That time is long past, but I remember it.

The summer I was 7, my sister left home to do whatever big sisters do and I was forced to spend my days chasing cows or teasing my brothers. Brothers and cows have limits. Push them too hard and they get surly.

Imagine my surprise when salvation came calling, so to speak, on the telephone.

Wait. If you’ve never heard of a rotary dial telephone, allow me to explain. Once upon a time – say, in the late 1950s – all phones were wired into walls, usually in the living room, with a pitifully short cord that could not be moved to another room for privacy. But you never had to worry about losing them.

The dial was a small wheel with 10 smaller holes numbered 0-9. To place a call, you put your finger in the appropriate hole and turned the wheel clockwise until it stopped. Then you pulled out your finger and watched the wheel spin back, clicking off the same number of clicks as in the number you’d just dialed.

You had to repeat this for each digit in the phone number. It was a lengthy process in which my mother, bless her, would forget on occasion the number she was dialing or the person she was calling, and find herself close to losing her religion.

But on that day, she dialed like a champion. I wish you could’ve seen her. I watched as her finger chose each number. When she finished, I leaned close and heard three rings. Then a voice that I knew well answered with a magic word: “Hello?”

And that’s how I learned my grandmother’s phone number. I dialed it every day that summer, sometimes every hour. We’d talk, she and I, about everything and nothing. And no matter how many times I called, she always sounded happy to hear from me.

I sound that way, too, when I get a call from someone I love. I’m always happy to hear from them. The strange thing is this: I don’t like talking on the phone. I’d rather go to the dentist. Or get a flu shot. Or scrub toilets.

For real conversation, I like eye contact, nodding heads, knowing looks, sly winks, pursed lips, grimaces and grins. I can’t get them in a phone call. Trust me, I’ve tried.

But if I can’t talk face to face, I’ll gladly settle for ear to ear.

Today I called my sister. We talk at least once a week. I call her or she calls me. I should’ve called her yesterday before she left another snarky message:

“You aren’t answering again. Probably talking to somebody more important than me. Hope you’re OK, not dead. Call me.”

Sisters are like brothers and cows. They all have their limits. Whenever she leaves a message like that, she says she is joking. But she doesn’t fool me a bit.

So I called her back. She didn’t answer. I left a snarky message. Finally, she called again and we talked for an hour about everything and nothing.

Phones are wonderful things that keep us connected to voices we love. But some days it seems we are really connected not to each other but to our machines.

In restaurants and airports or walking down the street, I see eyes glued to iPhones, not to people. Have you ever tried to talk with someone who keeps glancing at a phone?

I like to smile at strangers and get to know them if I can. But I’m finding it harder to do if they won’t look into my eyes.

Then there’s Siri (a pleasant sounding, very helpful iPhone app). I’ve got nothing against her. But I want my children and grandchildren to light up at the sound of my voice, not hers.

I don’t know what to do about all that. I guess I’ll just keep trying to connect, to be present and mindful – any time, any place, any way I can – and hope others will do the same for me.

It’s an easy call to make.

Hello?

Reach Sharon Randall at P.O. Box 777394, Henderson, NV 89077 or at www.sharonrandall.com.

Sharon Randall

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Police enlist help to find armed bandit

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
Chamber PAC draws candidates to Jelly Belly

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
 
Weather for Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

Coastal Cleanup Day targets local waterways

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Drama reigns supreme with week’s film debuts

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Judge questions juror in Calkins case

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

Suisun City slaying suspect case moves forward

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Touro University to host Zombie Run/Walk

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Land trust organizes Rockville Trails Preserve hike

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

6 killed, 15 wounded in east Ukraine city

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
State Sen. Wright resigns after voter fraud case

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Gazans rush to enjoy life after ruinous war

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Decades later, Vietnam soldiers get Medal of Honor

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Mystery airstrikes target Libyan Islamist militias

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tiny Qatar plays outsize role in US war strategy

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Generation gap: Young Scots favor independence

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Police: Rifle used to ambush Pennsylvania troopers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hurricane Odile slams Mexico’s Baja California

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
House GOP moves ahead on Syrian rebel training

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Kerry: US open to talks with Iran on Islamic State

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Poll: Voters support legal path for immigrants

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

Man suspected of firing on kids at ice cream truck

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
NASA inspector blasts asteroid protection program

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Officials disclose Delaware funeral home Jonestown remains

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Southern California swelters in heat wave

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Northern California wildfire burns 100 homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
9 hurt in crash on SF Bay Area freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page:

PG&E officials removed for improper communications

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Chicago, NY, Hawaii on Obama library’s short list

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

Powerful Washington lobbyist Boggs dies at 73

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Opinion

 
Column focus on campaign signs misplaced

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
.

Entertainment

Apple releases tool to remove free U2 album

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Cat Stevens announces brief US concert tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Forward-thinking U2 innovating while entertaining

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Revamped ‘View’ begins its daytime run

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Clooney to receive HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Exhibition looks at genius of carousel inventor

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Miss America: More to worry about than red cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Protocol followed in detention of actress

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Jean Paul Gaultier to stop making ready-to-wear

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane sentenced in assault

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Bob Crewe, ‘Walk Like a Man’ writer, dead at 83

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
TVGrid Seot 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Diamondbacks knock off Giants 6-2

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prep boys soccer: Vanden wins, Armijo ties, VCS falls

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

Prep volleyball: VCS swept by Woodland Christian

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Foles leads Eagles to 30-27 win against Colts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Cardinals manager can relate to Stanton incident

By The Associated Press | From Page:

As troops exit, Britain aids soccer in Afghanistan

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
US uses big third quarter to pull away from Canada

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Backup QBs make their marks in Week 2

By Barry Wilner | From Page:

 
NFL, union close to finalizing new drug policy

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Tanaka 5 scoreless innings in instructional league

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Mets rookie deGrom ties K mark; Marlins win 6-5

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Papelbon suspended 7 games by MLB

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Dream Team, Barcelona Games continue to impact NBA

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US basketball reigns in Spain, awaits Rio Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
AP Source: Raiders to sign WR Vincent Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders embarrassed after 0-2 start

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Redskins optimistic RG3 will return this season

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Pistorius free to compete, SA Olympic body says

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Woods says strength is back, but not swing

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Domestic violence experts added as NFL advisers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Union expects to file Rice appeal Tuesday

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Vikings bring back Peterson despite abuse charge

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Patriots still not quite right with ball

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Harbaugh: McDonald’s legal process must play out

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Business

US wealth gap putting the squeeze on state revenue

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Speculation swirls over Fed language on rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GM expert says 19 deaths eligible for compensation

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Once-troubled reverse mortgages poised for rebound

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Apple: Record 4M orders of iPhones on 1st day

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
‘Minecraft’ could boost Microsoft’s mobile reach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Stocks mixed ahead of Fed; small companies slump

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Obituaries

Minnie Lee Dixon

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sally Forth Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield September 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote Sept 16

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5