The telephone office was up over Frank Webb’s store. Muriel Fifield and Dora Beatrice were the two operators that I remember. Back in 1946 I had just graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in Castine and gotten a job as 3rd Engineer on the SS Alma Victory for American Export Lines. We had loaded grain in Galveston, Texas, and were due to sail for India.
I wanted to call my folks, Harold and Alda Small, before we sailed that night. I made the phone call, and I heard the operator making connections in Washington, Boston, Ellsworth, and finally Stonington. I heard Muriel ringing my folks, but there was no answer, and I was so disappointed that I wouldn’t get to talk with them before we sailed around midnight.
Then I heard Muriel say to the other operator: “Tell him his folks have gone to Lodge but should be home in another two hours.” Sure enough, I called back later and got them. Try and get that sort of personalized service today! Those days of the telephone operator are long gone.
Montelle L. “Monty” Small