If you recognize the above as a phone number, then you are either "old" (like me) or into old trivia.  

I'm old (though I don't feel that way) and that number was my phone number growing up.  

When I was little, I had to memorize it.  It was the only way to get in touch with my mother (or my father, but most often my mother.) There was no speed dial.  There were no buttons or icons to press.  You DIALED the number.  You dialed seven digits to call home.

"Back in the day" you only had to use seven digits. Unless you were calling "long distance."  Then you had to use the area code and it cost a lot more to make that phone call.  Long distance calls were not taken lightly.  You put serious thought into making those calls; it was going to COST you.  Time was money; you kept your conversations short (and sweet) unless you wanted to run up a bill that would rival the national debt.  (Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little bit there.)

As I got older, the dialing turned to pushing buttons.  There were two area codes in the state of NJ.  You were either North (201) or South (609).  A new area code was added for the center of the state (908) and you had to start using 10 digits instead of seven.

As more area codes were added, phones became programmable. You didn't need to remember the number any more, you could put it in as one of your 9 favorites.  Then were were car phones and mobile phones.  Who needs a landline?  (I do...sorry I AM old). Cell phones with your contacts in it meant no one had to remember ANY number any more.  Program it in and you are done.

So there is no need to remember 239-8355.  Even though I didn't need to dial it; I could and I did.  

It was the number that I grew up with and will forever be associated with the house I grew up in.  It was the phone number of the first house I lived in and it followed my family when we moved to the house I grew up in.  And until recently it WAS the number that I associated with my parents' house.  It was a number that was part of my life.

That number no longer rings.  Or at least not in the house where it did for over 40 years.  

Somewhere out there, I am sure that someone has the number.  Maybe not with my area code, but...

There is no need to remember 239-8355.  But I will.  It is woven into the fabric of my life.  There are and will be many things that I will forget as I get even older.  I'd like to think, as unnecessary as it may be, this number will stay with me. 


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