It was 1957 and we lived on the edge of a small, quiet Wisconsin town of 307 persons. I hadn’t started school yet and had little contact with the world outside of the village and the fields surrounding it. Then one day the telephone came to our house. It was large and black and had a handle on the side. One crank on the handle and Mrs. Brown, the operator, came on the line saying, “Hello, who do you want to talk to?” We would say, “the Zwickeys” or “John’s store” or “the Nelsons,” and she would plug us into the switchboard to make the connection. Then, of course, she would more or less listen in so she could disconnect us when we were finished. There were several families on our line, and we each had a different ring. Ours was a long and a short; the Zwickeys’ was two shorts and a long. It was obvious when someone besides Mrs. Brown was on the line listening, because then the line had a funny hollow sound. In such a small town, everyone knew everyone else’s business. The phones just made it easier and a bit quicker.