Telephone Poles

Utility Poles

Utility Poles (Photo credit: Theresa L Wysocki)

I was on my way to Mama and Daddy’s today to take them some special tomatoes
they had requested when I passed by a new subdivision that I’ve driven by many
times.  This place did not exist five years ago.  It used to be an old pasture.
I’m not sure what will happen, as it looks like the developer built a few houses
and then gave up.  His sign is up at the entrance though, with weeds standing
tall around it.  On this sign it says, “Underground utilities” among other
descriptive terms.

That got me to thinking as I drove on to the road my
folks live on–it was a dirt road until–oh maybe 16 or 17 years ago when the
county decided to pave our dead end dirt road.  (We held our last game of
hopscotch in the middle of the road a few days before it was paved.)  All around
me were utility poles and wires above the ground.  I hadn’t really thought about
it before.

Telephone poles were pretty important as I was growing
up.  Granny lived down a long dirt road that as far as I could tell was
specially made to get to her house.  Down this road, filled with red dirt clots
that would explode when you threw them, were many telephone poles.  They were
spaced equidistantly with the long cables strung gracefully along their path.
They served more than just the obvious purpose.  Granny would tell us how many
poles we could walk down to when we’d head out on our walks.  We were so proud
when we were allowed to reach the number five pole and were out of sight of the
house.  As we walked, we’d hear a faint buzzing coming from the poles.  My
cousin and I talked about how we could hear Granny talking, but we couldn’t
understand what she was saying, thinking the buzzing meant she was on the
phone.  (Though, why we didn’t wonder at the fact that she was never on the
phone when we got back and rarely talked on it when we were in the house, I’m
not quite sure.)

When I rode my bike at Granny’s or in the area around
our house, many times I counted off by the telephone poles.  I’ll ride down to
the next one…..or after three more poles, I’m turning around.  I suppose that,
for these neighborhoods where there are all underground utilities, telephone
poles seem to be something of an antiquity.  More and more neighborhoods seem to
be going to underground wires, and I suppose that’s progress.

But forgive me if you see me driving a little slower down the roads with poles with
wires draped along them.  I’m traveling down memory lane and the speed limit is
very slow.

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