In the early 1950's, the luxury of owning a television set was not well known by many local residents. So when a rather affluent relative purchased one, it was a very special treat for family members to visit and enjoy live broadcasts of Uncle Miltie.
On one such evening, my great grandparents,grandparents, mother and three older brothers were invited to my cousins to partake in the then rare opportunity to view a little television.
My father, who was very tired from a rough day working as a train engineer, opted out of the trip, choosing instead to stay home and read (one of his greatest passions).
As the evening wore on, my father was disturbed by the ringing of the telephone. As he removed himself from the most comfortable position on the couch, by the fire to answer the ringing, he heard the distinct sound of someone arising from the bed located directly above the living room, in which he was located. Thinking that it was his grandmother, who must have also decided not to go with the rest of the family to watch television, he paid little attention to the sound.
He was aware, however, that the person arose from the bed, and heard the shuffling footsteps as they made their way across the bedroom floor, and out into the upstairs hall. He then heard the distinctive squeak of someone leaning against the upstairs banister railing. Answering the phone, he found no one on the other end of the line. He made his way back to the couch, all the while hearing the sounds of someone making their way back to bed, and the squeaking of the bedsprings as they lay down. It struck him as odd that his grandmother had not spoken, or asked who had been on the phone, especially since she had been apparently disturbed by the sound of its ringing.
A short while later, the phone rang a second time. Thinking that it might be my mother calling to ask him to come and help carry a sleeping child home, he went to answer its summons once more. And , just as before, he heard his grandmother arise from the bed and make her way into the hall, and the squeak of the banister as she leaned upon it. Once again, no one was on the line, and once again his grandmother did not speak to inquire about the call.
Again he found this odd, but as his grandmother was a somewhat sharp turned woman, forwent calling out to her. He figured that if she really wanted to know about the call, she would ask. As he found his place once more on the couch, he again heard her make her way back to bed, and the noise created by the old iron bed, with its old fashioned coil and springs.
A short while later, his family returned from their outing. He arose at the sound of their approach, and make his way to the door to greet them. Imagine his surprise, upon opening the door, to be greeted with the sight of his grandmother on the other side!! He had been alone in the house the entire evening.
© Paulette Boyd
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