The first one goes back to 1967 when I made my first trip to the States. We flew to JFK and from there with legendary PanAm to San Juan PR. I stayed there for a number of weeks so at least once a week I called home. In those days direct dialing to Holland did not exist yet; every call had to be placed via the hotel operator. And she always used the same words that I came to know so well in the years after: "I'll put you through to the overseas operator." A quite common phrase that for some reason I never forgot. And now that we have arrived in the era of the mobile phone, the overseas operator probably has disappeared in the mists of history...
The second bell refers to my grandfather Andreas Miebies (1883-The Hague-1957). He was a civil servant for the municipality of The Hague. There he made a career in the Social Affairs Department. At a certain point he was Director of Social Housing (Directeur Contrôle Woningen) in a certain part of the city. And it doesn't come as a surprise but when you made it that to level, you were entitled to have your own telephone! Fortunately this fact has been recorded in the 1927 white pages. So I know he could be reached at 18068.
|1927 white pages|
|Andreas Miebies and secretary in his office in June 1936.|
During the 50s American singer Jo Stafford (1917-2008) was very popular. You might remember her Embraceable You. In The Netherlands Thank you for calling was a big hit. Listening to her for the next two minutes seems an appropriate end of my contribution this week.
For an exchange of more views on operators and their connections, please visit the Sepia Saturday site.