In 1980s & 1990s, First Baptist & Around New Bern, POSTS on March 17, 2010 at 8:40 am

(Editor’s note: Good old 1806 Tryon Road. Was it ever any color other than green?)

  1. OH! For a long time we lived in a pink house at 1804 – Grandma and I LOVED it. It was light pink with charcoal gray shutters – I remember choosing the color of the paint and it was SO exciting! 🙂

  2. Actually it was 1806 (1804 is the new one), but just before it became pink, it was white – at least for a short time. Evidently GM wasn’t fond of white. I’m not sure what the shutter color was. I was never that fond of pink, so when it changed to green, I thought that was progress.

    And the cast iron porch columns are also “new”. They started out as wood square posts. They started to rot, and cast iron was supposed to last forever. So far, they’ve lasted pretty well.

    Granddaddy’s soap box derby motorcar was on the front porch under Boyd’s window for years (and years, and years…). OK, it wasn’t actually part of the house, but it was there long enough to have been.

    • Yes, I also remember the square wooden posts. I think the wrought iron posts might have come along with the green color.

  3. When I read Carey’s note I immediately thought – 1806 and Pink for some historical reason! And I remember seeing pictures of a white house, but for years, when someone wanted to know where I lived, I just had to say the pink house near the High School and they knew exactly where it was.

  4. Oh, dang it! 1806 is what I meant, but there’s been so much talk lately about the building at the 1804 land that I got myself confused. I am so embarrassed that I am changing “1804” to “1806” in the “Editor’s Note” above. 🙂

    Did you guys move to 1806 in something like 1952 or 1953?

    What year would you reckon it went pink? And then what year would you reckon it went green?

    • We lived at 1806 when Bill was born, so we would have had to move prior to April of 1954, but I don’t remember the year. I had the mumps when he was born. GM says I felt poorly and told her, “Don’t worry Momma, it only hurts on one side.”, at which time she knew it was mumps. I remember lying on the couch in the living room at 1806 when I was sick. So I had to go stay with the Young’s while Bill was born. I got to come home when I was well.
      I don’t remember when the color changes happened, but the green is siding, not paint, so unless we change the siding, it’ll be green for some time to come.

  5. Our original phone number was ‘5524’ before our exchange got a name, which was “Melrose”. The “Mel-“ part converted handily to “637”, which was the original code for New Bern. And we did have a party line for a while – then we splurged on a private one. I think our ring was two shorts. Of course, we really felt put out when we had to dial 7 digits instead of 4. It seemed like forever to dial a call.

    And our milk did come in a bottle, but it was a gallon jug (washed out pickle jar) with a screw top, fresh from Ray Munns’ cow. Momma would scoop off the cream for whipping, coffee, and other things that needed lots of butterfat. Ummm – good!

  6. I don’t know what our phone number was on Franklin Street. I was too young at the time for a phone to be a useful tool to me. My toys would have been much more valuable.

  7. Wait, so for those of us who primarily use cellphones, can you please explain this phone-number chronology little more?

    When did the phone number at 1806 Tryon Road go from “MELROSE + 5524” to “637-5524?” And then when did you get an area code (i.e., “919,” then “252”)?

    Was 1806 always “5524” in some way, or did you ever have a different number?

    • It never actually changed from “MELROSE” to “637-“. The switchgear didn’t “spell” – that was a human accomodation. The rotary phones of the day had lettering by the numbers, just like today. I don’t know why the phone company thought that people who had no trouble remembering 4 digits would not be able to remember 7 digits. There was even a song, I think called “PENNSYLVANIA 8-5000”. The phone number indicates the number of phones on a system. When New Bern had a 4 digit phone number, it meant that there were 8,999 phones in New Bern (numbers couldn’t start with a “0”, since that was reserved for the operator), and calls between cities (systems) were always connected by humans. This was actually an improvement over the old-old system where you’d crank the handle on the phone which would alert a human operator (“Mabel”) who would manually connect you to another phone – no dial required.
      I think we had a different number when we had a party line, but that is lost to the mists of history. We didn’t have a party line for a long time before we went private.
      When area codes came in, our number changed to from 637-5524 to 638-5196 in the 919 area code. But it was “long distance” from New Bern to Havelock. The next big local change was “county-wide local calls” for an extra $0.50 per month on your phone bill. That came sometime in the ’80’s. It was great to be able to call home from Cherry Point without it being “long distance”.
      All of North Carolina was 919 at that time; we didn’t get multiple area codes until the use of fax machines increased the need for phone numbers.

  8. Oh, and somebody please explain the party-line thing! How did that work, and how did the private line work?

    Did you have to go to the private line to get the “5524” number?

  9. ahhh, the telephone network, what a tremendous aggregation of equipment, wires, towers, people, and electro magnetics!
    While I do remember hearing about Melrose, the phone number I always used was 919-638-5196; where 919 was the area code (now changed to 252), 638 was the exchange (in the old days this was a big room with rows of operators who manually connected the wires from the last 4 digits – this was a huge enterprise.
    While the numbering system has remained constant, everything else has changed and is now done electronically so that now there is much more communications between computers than there is between people.
    Funny, party lines are a lot like cable TV, where more than 1 family share the exact same wire of information. Each family would have a different number and ring (tone) so they could tell who each call was for. I could go on, but maybe that is enough for now!

  10. OK, so just so you young folks know, when you had a party line, it meant that anyone and everyone “could” answer the ring. So if you lifted the receiver quietly, you could ease drop on anyone else’s conversation. It also meant that if your neighbor was on the phone, you could NOT make a call because the line was already in use.
    The reason we didn’t like it when the number went from 5524 to 8 digits was that with a rotary phone, you had to wait for the dial to reverse between each digit. 7 Digits really did take longer to dial than 4.

  11. Oh, I should add, that when the telephone number was 5524, the street in front of the house would have also been a dirt road. I can remember making mud (sand) pies with a little pitcher of water at the end of the sidewalk.

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