Friday, September 30, 2011
The allure of the telegram
I was wandering around an antique shop housed in a former granary in Northwestern Michigan earlier this week and spotted these three unused holiday telegrams from 1950. They were 50 cents each, so I had to have them. They are such a vestige of the world BI (before internet).
I received just one telegram in my life but never forgot it. I was in 3rd grade and my beloved teacher, Mrs. Suplee, had been hospitalized most of the school year. I was beside myself with concern. So, I saved allowance money for months - as well as other money I earned - in order to send flowers to her hospital room.
Her response came via Western Union. First, there was a phone call; that was followed by the delivery of the paper telegram. It was exciting beyond words! To me, telegrams were the stuff of presidents, movie stars and other VIPs. Next time I am home, I am going to see if my dad still has that telegram stashed some place. I am betting he does.