We’ve come a long way from “Reach Out and Touch Someone”

Posted By on April 14, 2020

RotaryPhoneOnce upon a time, families who only snail-mailed cards and letters would on special occasions, like Easter, dial their corded rotary phones and pay for an expensive long distance call in order to Reach Out and Touch Someone as the marketing jingle would advertise (a 1970s commercial below the break). I remembered many phone CordlessPhonecalls growing up and talking with our family, especially when my dad would take us to his office to use the WATS line (Wide Area Telephone Service).

Then our turn to be the parents and connect Katelyn and Taylor with their grandparents or family … we started with a pigtailed corded landline phone and a Long Distance phone card to keep the cost down and advanced quickly to a portable “landline” phone and occasional high-cost cellphone. I can clearly remember my first permanently mounted CellularOne carphone (then portable version) in Akron, Ohio with very limited cell tower coverage and an expensive 90 minutes per month plan – it was not uncommon to call to get a credit for dropped calls … oh, and those “roaming fees!”


This year for Easter, due to the COVID19 Coronavirus social-distancing orders, our family connected using a group video chat (assume we were not alone). We often use Apple’s FaceTime with Katelyn, Drew, Annalyn and Ellerie … and sometime with Taylor and Megan, but not in a group call mode. A lot of companies have been holding meetings with their employees and customers, as are schools, etc and as someone who works with customers for sales, it does have me wondering if this “virtual connection” will become the norm even when things return to normal? I’ve used Zoom, Google and Skype for a few conference calls and tried out House Party with family in Alpharetta, GA … but this was our first Apple FaceTime try. Besides a couple initial glitches (how we store contact info) and dropping a person’s feed a couple times, it wasn’t bad (screen shot above). I think Apple may still have a few bugs to work out … it was not quite as good as Zoom …and as I’m sure my late mother would say, “it’s not as good as being together in person.”

There was a bit of sad news .. Katelyn’s bunny Pumpy Umpy has died, as Annalyn clearly told us multiple times on the call (and I just mentioned him in the Easter post). Katelyn sent me a recent photo, but he did not look like I want to remember him … so here are a couple happier photos from a while ago.



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog