Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Good Night

Bear with me because I'll get to the point of this post.....For the new followers, I worked for MaBell for 33 years before a voluntary/involuntary separation in 2010 (another story all together).  But one thing that happens to phone company employees is that whenever we meet someone, and mention that we worked for the company, the person ALWAYS asked, "Well did you know Jane Doe or John Smith?"  I always acted like I was paging through my memory trying to picture Ms. Doe/Mr. Smith, before saying, "I don't know her/him." They ALWAYS say, "Well they WORKED for the phone company." What I wanted to point out, but never did, was that  AT&T at one time had almost a million employees.
Fast forward to last night.  After the soundcheck at the Opelika Unplugged event, several of the songwriters gathered in the hospitality room to hang out before the show.

We exchanged business cards and war stories about playing and talked about our day-gigs.

When it came to me, I told them that I retired from the phone company a few years ago and did only freelance work now.
Laura Lynn Hardy who lives in north Alabama was in the lineup said, "You worked for the phone company? Where?"
"Birmingham," I offered.
"Did you know my dad?"
Here we go again, I thought. His name was Pat Hardy.
All of a sudden, bells and whistles went off in my head.
"Actually, I did know your dad. He was in my group for 10 years," I replied.  What a small world.
For the most part, phone company people were tight. We were closer than many families. Her dad, and all the other guys in our group frequently baled me out of jams. They made me look good, and that wasn't easy.
Not only did we have a great time playing music, but we met the daughter of a good friend. That's a good night in my book.


  1. this is such a sweet story. I think people ask not because they do not realize the improbability of you working with a loved one or someone they knew, but because they know there is a possibility. :)

  2. Oh- Don't you love when things like that happen? It is just heart-warming. One time I sat down on a bench in DizzyWorld (we live in WI) and started chatting up the woman next to me. She lived in Milwaukee. I only knew ONE PERSON that lived in Milwaukee. SHE shared a cubicle with that woman. God works in mysterious ways! Have a great night- Hugs- Diana

  3. Rick! FUN! I love how you wrote this story/explanation. You're a very talented writer.

  4. lol Well you never know It's a small world after all
    You might know someone lol

  5. That is really neat and I bet it brought back a lot of good memories. I never seem to run into situations like that where I knew someone who knew someone, etc. You are one lucky duck.

  6. What a great story Rick! Very serendipitous

  7. I spent several years working for General Telephone in west central Illinois. Quite an adventure!

  8. My brother worked for the phone company..did you know him? Wait, that was in Chicago in the late 60's before he went to Vietnam..then for the 70's until he broke away and started his own phone installation company. I guess you didn't know him but I do agree it's a small world. Have a good rest of this weekend!

  9. How awesome is that! Happy for YOU!

  10. It's a small world isn't it! How fun!

  11. How nice. When people who read some blogs find out that I write one, they seem to think I know every blog on God's green Earth. Nope. Sorry. When they find out I edit books, they always ask, Did you edit anything I would have read? Well, how in the heck would I know what they've read?


  12. My father-in-law worked for the phone company for 20 years, from the late 50s to late 70s. At that time, they all knew each other, at least in our county. So he is always running into people who remember him.


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required