Monday, August 10, 2009

inherited no. 4

here i am, back for more. tonight i'm thinking about an inheritance that arrived in my possession via my mom aka mommerdoodle, often referred to here in the shorthand as m.d. she's the mommer to the doodle. i'm really trying to keep "gifts" out of this inherited series, but when i received this norton electric company telephone, patented in 1923(ish), it felt more like an inheritance than a gift. i knew it was mine for safekeeping.

by the way, before we move on to the specifics of this acquisition, i should mention that this phone was made in canada. to be honest, i wasn't aware anything but lifesavers were made in canada. (and this knowledge i owe to m.d.) who knew?

moving on.

this phone passed into my hands because my mother TALKS TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHE ENCOUNTERS...EVER. i often berate her for this behavior, but in all actuality, i wouldn't have her any other way. and, you know, i wouldn't have this amazing phone. the phone started out in the hands of a mr. jefferson, proprietor of a fish market in fairhope, alabama. i don't recall the details of how m.d. came to know mr. jefferson, but i know that he endeared himself to her by feeding and befriending the local feral cats and regaling her with stories of gambling in mississippi. just so you know, mr. jefferson is old, as in, when i met him several years ago, he showed me that he was a card-carrying veteran of world war II. the man fought in the battle of the bulge, people, and i am not joking. mr. jefferson had used this phone at his fish market for god knows how many years, and on the first day i met him and despite offers from others to pay good money for this weathered rotary dial antiquity, he handed me this treasure. and i don't believe it's because i was exceedingly charming or particularly interesting; it was solely because i am my mother's daughter. it's an object, a thing, a material possession no one needs, but there was something so moving about this transfer of goods. i have it, here, with me, as a reminder of an unlikely friendship between a slightly ornery old man and my overly friendly mother. it's a reminder of the good they saw in each other, and the good that i see in them.

i only met mr. jefferson the once, but i think of him whenever i pick up the heavy receiver of his phone. (and in case you're wondering, it still works after being adapted with a modern cord. the only problem is it sounds like a fire alarm on acid and increases risk of heart attack.) more importantly, whenever i see the phone, i hope that one day, i will be more like m.d. and not be afraid to walk up to a stranger and say hello. thank you, m.d., for talking to EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU ENCOUNTER...EVER.

m.d. with a fish in her hand
bet you didn't think you'd see this on the internets, huh, m.d.?


  1. M.D., hi!!

    So, Jessica, is this the phone that rings when I decide to call your land line instead of your cell?

  2. no,i didn't ever expect to see that photo anywhere. how did you inherit that?

  3. as the keeper of all family photos, i am in possession of many photographs of you wearing questionable ensembles. it was all fun and games til you turned up on the internets, huh?