Smiling In Hello-Land: 1921 Telephone Etiquette For The Social Elite

Doing research for last week’s Thursday Doors post I fell down a rabbit hole that had zilch to do with what I was supposed to be learning about.

[I’m sure you’re not surprised, are you?]

However this tangent was not in vain. I found something unique + entertaining, meant for a blog post, as you will see.

Keep reading.

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The following came from Mrs. Devereux’s Blue Book of Cincinnati Society, the go-to source for lists of club members and their home addresses for the social elite circa 1921.

Below are little snippets of telephone etiquette advice printed at the bottom of some pages in Mrs. Devereux’s book.

These snippets, put there by the printer I imagine, filled the page with text, while at the same time SUBTLY TEACHING THE SOCIAL ELITE HOW TO POLITELY USE the newfangled thing called a telephone.

These six little snippets tell a charming instructive story that I’ve transcribed at the bottom of this post.  It is a story, in fact, that I’ve gone so far as to dub: How to be a Gracious Member of the Grand Army of Telephone Users.

Enjoy!

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How to be a Gracious Member of the Grand Army of Telephone Users

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life it is easy to lose the better things– the finer qualities.  About the cheapest abuse in the world is the abuse of people at the other end of a telephone wire.  It is the trait of a gentleman– the proof of good breeding– just to smile when you telephone.

The voice with the smile is the voice that wins.  The smiling man or woman who uses the telephone in a sensible way always enjoys the best service.  They never get the hydrophobia when delays occur in answering a call.  Quite often the operator is not responsible for delays.  To complete quick service the party called must immediately respond.  

Did you ever see the Girl at the Switchboard during the rush hour?  If you did you never would kick again.  Some of the people who are loudest in their criticisms would drop dead of heart disease if they were under the strain which is just part of the everyday life in Hello-Land.

There are some people who in ordinary ways of life keep within the bounds of calmness and sanity, but they shy at a telephone and look upon it as the vent for all the accumulated spleen of generations of grouches.  The Supreme Court of New York has ruled that telephones may be taken out if abusive language is used by the subscriber.

Edward W. Bok, editor of the “Ladies’ Home Journal,” declares that one sure sign of an imminent nervous breakdown is a disposition to lose temper when delays occur in telephoning.  When you feel inclined to go to pieces at the ‘phone– consult a doctor.  You have rung a danger signal for yourself every time you growl over the ‘phone.

The great majority of the Grand Army of Telephone Users know the value of keeping sweet.  It is a pleasure to serve them.  They have sensed the disaster that lurks in the poison which is generated in one’s own system every time a fit is cultivated.  It saves doctor bills to smile when you phone. 

The End

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting The Nature Center, Finding A Few Old Doors

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you photos of the following doors plus a little more.

On a sunny winter’s day we went to Rowe Woods which is part of the Cincinnati Nature Center.  Within Rowe Woods is Krippendorf Lodge.

Built in 1898-1900 and originally owned by Carl & Mary Krippendorf, this large home is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Krippendorf Lodge sits on 175-acres of wooded land that was once called Karlsruhe Gardens [meaning Carl’s Place of Peace], but is now called Lob’s Wood [I know not why].

Today Krippendorf Lodge is an event venue, available year-round for rent.  From the outside the building itself appears to be in perfect condition, as are the adjacent outbuildings that include a unique water tower.

I was unable to get a good pic of the front doors to Krippendorf Lodge, but I took a few other door photos while wandering around + a few artsy-fartsy photos for perspective.

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#ThursdayDoors | Finding History In Front Of Us, Hello Texas Saltbox Houses

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you photos of the following doors.

Using my cell phone camera that is not so great, I took these photos last month when we were visiting San Antonio.

Come to find our hotel, Plaza San Antonio, had a past.  Situated on 6 acres located in a historic district originally settled by German immigrants in the 1800s, this hotel was built around old homes.

[Also, but not pertinent to doors, this hotel allegedly has a ghost running around in it.  I didn’t know that when we were there, but hat tip to Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge for letting me know what I missed.] 

On this hotel property, owned by Marriott, were well-kept old houses built in the New England saltbox style.  These various buildings, one of which I feature here, charmed the socks off me with their small scale and sturdy vibe.

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DOOR, very narrow, on side of Elmendorf-Tyler House.

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DOOR, seen up-close, showing hardware painted the same color as the door.

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Gate on property surrounding Elmendorf-Tyler House.

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DOORS, maybe still used as such, opening onto long porch on what I guess was the front of Elmendorf-Tyler House.

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Brick sidewalk between long porch and hotel rooms.

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DOOR, rarely used it would seem, leading into small shed attached to side of Elmendorf-Tyler House.

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Where I Was When I Wasn’t Here: San Antonio, TX

TO BEGIN

Colorful bat mosaic on wall at zoo.

“The world is a book. If you do not travel, you read only a page.”

The above quote, that I see every day when I’m at home, is on a framed piece of artwork that I have hanging on a wall in our home office.

I only mention this quote, attributed to St. Augustine, because I believe it to be true, a guiding principle.  Thus I said “hell to the yes” when I had the opportunity to spend a few days in pleasant and pretty San Antonio, TX.

You see, last week Zen-Den was in San Antonio for a conference.  Remembering how much fun we had there years ago, I joined him after the conference was over and we goofed off for a couple of days doing things in America’s 7th largest city that is celebrating its 300th birthday.

[Did not know either of those facts before visiting there. Feel that I’m a better person for having shared them here.]

THINGS WE DID

• The San Antonio River Walk which is a meandering multi-level path around an urban waterway surrounded by restaurants, shops, and hotels.

• The Briscoe Western Art Museum which was beautiful, and wherein I saw Roy Rogers’s saddle, a real Wells Fargo Wagon, and ate a complimentary cupcake.

• The Alamo Quarry Market which is an open-air shopping area filled with stores and restaurants, not necessarily unique to San Antonio but a nice place to wander around in the warm sunshine.

• The San Antonio Zoo which was lovely, with more animals from South America, Australia, and Africa than any other zoo I’ve been to.

• The Alamo City Comic Con which was our first adventure into the happy, trippy subculture that revolves around comic conventions.  Here are my observations: 1) people, often entire families, were costumed like comic book or TV or movie characters [we were not];  2) people were standing in line waiting to pay to have photos taken with and/or objects signed by celebrities [we did not];  & 3) people were buying memorabilia and posters and t-shirts from the displays set up by many vendors [we did not].

IN CONCLUSION

And with that I’ll end this post with a hat tip to St. Augustine and his travel advice, suggesting to you, my gentle readers, that San Antonio, TX, is a fun + friendly place to visit for those of you inclined to want to read more than one page of this book we call the world.

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A County Park On An Early Fall Afternoon

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so I can share door photos + a bit more.

I took these photos when we decided to stop at Miami Whitewater Forest, a Hamilton County Ohio park. The park is in southwest Ohio, close to the Indiana and Kentucky borders.

It covers over 4,000 hilly acres, features an 85-acre lake, and is named for a Shaker community that used to thrive in this area.

On the sunny day we visited the park we went for a look-see, moseying around, not intending to do anything in particular.  Here are a few photos of what we saw. 

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DOOR into ranger station office.

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Lake with docks as seen while sitting on bench on nearby hill.

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A small brown leaf… or is it?

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A butterfly that appeared where the brown leaf was!

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A deer doing its thing while standing in the scummy part of the lake.

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My pale scrawny Birkenstock-encased tootsies as seen by me whilst sitting quietly and watching deer doing its thing.

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DOOR, in the sense that a trash can flap is door-like, as seen on a trash can with a lovely lake scene behind it.

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#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Northeast Ohio Store, Finding A Unique Chapel

Sign in front of retail store.

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you photos of the following doors + a bit more.

I took these photos when we decided, on a whim, to stop at P. Graham Dunn, a factory + retail store + chapel in Dalton, OH.

P. Graham Dunn makes inspirational home and wall decor, often in the form of wooden signs.  Above the factory there’s a humongous retail store in which you can lost looking at all the merchandise. 

Interesting barn adjacent to retail store.

Outside the store is a beautiful pond with a path around it that leads to a small narrow chapel, named Anna’s Chapel.  

The chapel is by the side of the pond and is like none other that I’ve seen.  Inside the chapel the raw wooden walls are almost entirely covered with graffiti that praises Christianity + a few personal messages as well. 

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DOOR into Anna’s Chapel.

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Graffiti on inside chapel walls.

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Example of P. Graham Dunn’s merchandise as seen inside chapel.

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More graffiti on inside chapel walls.

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DOOR as seen while standing inside Anna’s Chapel.

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One last look at graffiti on inside chapel walls.

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View of pond as seen from within Anna’s Chapel.

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Self-Awareness Is Good, But I Find Some Of This Questionable

For better or worse I’ve taken some online quizzes…

THE FIRST QUIZ  I took was Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz.  It is HERE.

My results tell me I’m a QUESTIONER, meaning I “Resist outer expectations, Meet inner expectations.”  While it might be heavy-handed to say that I questioned my results, I [of course] did.

Or at least I did initially.

However upon reflection, I’ve decided to embrace my natural tendency to question.  Hence I give you my results from two other online quizzes I took, in which I found myself questioning my results.

Like the questioner I am.

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THE SECOND QUIZ that I’d like to talk about is Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism.  It is HERE.

My results tell me that I barely know squat about emojis.

I’ve no difficulty owning up to this assessment of my emoji knowledge.  What I find myself questioning is why I should know more about emojis– and how many gazillion of them are there now?

I don’t hate on the things, silly as they are;  I use about 10 of them and that seems plenty to me.  But what I’m unclear about is why I need to educate myself about emojis when I can still use my words effectively to convey my message.

Just saying, no disrespect intended.

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THE THIRD QUIZ that I took was Which Era Is Your Soul From?  It is HERE.

According to my results I belong in the Victorian Era.  This is because I “believe in remaining optimistic in a world that is sometimes against you.”

I’m reluctant to accept this result, feeling that if there’s one era I most definitely do not belong in, it’s the Victorian Era.

If my results had said I belonged in the Flapper Age I’d be all *woot, woot* count me in, where’s the gin?  Or if my results had suggested that I belonged in the 1940s when women kept this country going while the men went to war, I’d be all move over Rosie, time for me to get riveting.

My optimistic soul would fit into those eras, but the Victorian Era when women were corseted and stuck at home with the vapors only doing domestic things?

Well, that’s not me… at all.