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Hartselle Enquirer

Oops, no cell phone

Some members of my family are hooked on the use of their cell phones to keep track of current events as well as to send and receive text messages and phone calls at any given time of the day. 

As soon as they arrive at a family function, out comes the phone from their pocket or purse, and they’ll stay glued to it until dinner is served.  

Even then it isn’t unusual for them to keep it in their laps and use it to send or receive a text from a friend or another family member while eating. 

Since I come from the old school of telephone users, I’ve never felt comfortable having a person-to-person conversation with another person interrupted by a phone call. Perhaps that’s why we never had a telephone in our home until I was a teenager.  

Our phone was of the party line vintage, and we were only allowed to answer its ring if it was our own. In addition, personal calls were limited to three minutes. 

I was reminded how valuable telephone and internet communications are in today’s world on Christmas Day.  

A family group of seven adults were gathered at our home for dinner Christmas evening. Geanell and I had discovered our cell phones were inoperable earlier in the day, and so had four other family members with AT&T phone service.  

We went the TV to find out why. 

A bomb was detonated in downtown Nashville Christmas morning, causing damage to multiple buildings, including an AT&T central office. The explosion disrupted service to customers in several Southeastern states.  

Service to Hartselle customers wasn’t restored until Saturday evening.    

The 60-hour disruption in cell phone service was credited with causing a breakdown in oral communication among family members for a Saturday evening after-Christmas dinner and card-playing games.  

Some understood the event would begin at 5 p.m., while others had in mind a two-hour later start. The confusion was cleared up when Jeff Gray and daughter Brandi Gray made a trip across town to let the Knights know dinner was being served at 7 p.m. Family members with Verizon phones hooked up by phone to get the time straight. 

As everyone relaxed with a bowl of hot soup, AT&T service was restored, and best wishes were extended to everyone for a happy and healthy New Year. 

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