Monday, January 17, 2011

Your New Musical Phone

December 1966

  Having never mastered a musical instrument in my youth, I always feel I have missed something when my kids sit down to the piano or finger a tune on the flute. But thanks to Michigan Bell Telephone Co., I think I have finally found a niche in the world of music. And and all of you are welcome to join in.
  As soon as Michigan Bell cut over to its new phone system in Rochester last September, we had the new Touch-Tone telephones (in assorted colors) installed in The Clarion office. One of the things the user first notices is the different pitched beep every time you push one of the 10 keys, In fact, it sounded a bit melodious to me. So with a little experimentation I found it is possible to punch out some simple tunes.
  For instance, by calling one Rochester number (which I will not name,) I can play the first seven notes of “The First Noel.” Of course, one runs into trouble after that seventh note. The phone on the other end starts ringing and some inconsiderate person interrupts your interlude by answering their phone. Another problem— no one but you can appreciate your new talent, unless they’re listening on your extension phone… if you have one.
  Touch-Tone musicians must also be careful not to get carried away with their compositions. By punching out the first measures of “White Christmas,” for instance, you might direct dial yourself to someone in Fairbanks, Alaska or the governor of Texas.
  But a phone bill like that would be sweet music to Michigan Bell.
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  PEOPLE PASSING McCOMB Chrysler-Plymouth dealership on North Main St. these days are doing a double take. Amidst the showroom array of sport sedans and fastbacks sits a shiny black limousine— a real giant. It attracts more attention than all the other cars. But it’s not for sale.
  Jerry McComb, who this week is celebrating his first anniversary as owner of the dealership, bought the car from Mrs. Alfred Wilson. The emblem says it’s a Crown Imperial. But it was built in 1948, several years before Chrysler started making Imperials on a production basis. Only four were made in 1949. The car has a Cadillac front seat and weighs three tons. And you can believe that there is no tinny sound when you slam the doors.
  The car still runs good and Jerry plans to keep it himself, although he has already had several people dickering. During recent years a chauffeur has driven it but once a month to keep it in running order. Incidentally, Jerry McComb says he’s been more than pleased with his first year in Rochester. You recall that the dealership changed hands innumerable times in recent years. But Jerry says he’s here to stay.
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  SPEAKING OF CARS, some may have noticed that the Rambler sign at Houghten & Son, Inc. came down last week and was replaced with a GMC truck sign. Actually, owner Fred Houghten dropped the Rambler line in August and is now concentrating on Oldsmobiles. The closest Rambler dealer now is in Birmingham. Neither Pontiac nor Utica have one.
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  LOOKING UNDER the Christmas tree every year brings to mind this thought— what will today’s children be able to tell their children what they did without?