The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on April 17, 1952 · Page 7
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 7

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 17, 1952
Page 7
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r THURSDAY, 'APRIL 17, 1952 Mrs. Eva Kedin Found Life Good As Phone Operator in Wilson BLYTHEVTLLE (ARK,) COURIER NEWS By BETTYE NKI.I, STARR (Courier News Corresponded) One of the most loyal citizens in the town o/ Wilson, Ark., is Mrs. Eva Kerlin. a retired telephone operator who came there 28 years ago at a salary of S15 per month. "That was big pay in those days . . . and long hours went with it," Ehc says. "I was working in Porlageville, Mo., at (he'time. One afternoon I was taking time out to can some peaches, when 1 got a call, "I accepted the job. but told the official I would only take it until they could find someone else. "With my husband' and (wo daughters, we gave up our home and moved to Wilson. "The telephone office was in (he house we were to occupy and I guess that's the only reason we didn't turn around and go back where we came from. "That was the dirtiest place anybody ever saw. I walked over to the switchboard anrt the bedbugs were thicker than the wires," she laughed. "But I knew that could be cleaned up with a little coal oil and hot soap suds, so we all started on that before we unloaded our furniture. "I was raised lo believe nobody but the very lowest class of people were pestered with bed bugs. "That was my first day's expert ience in Wilson. My family and I decided we would close our doors, so to speak, to anyone who might call on us olher than to use the telephone, but. that didn't last a week. . . . Mrs. Kva Korlin ... an cvrntful life In a town she loves . . , EVERYBODY IN Wilson was wonderful to us. My husband Immediately sot a Job, the girls were delighted with the children In Wilson. "The late Lee Wilson called on us our first Christmas eve to come over to his home for eggnog. "That scared us to death. Our opinion then of Mr. Wilson was that because he owned the entire town, he probably owned everybody In it. "We were afraid to tell him we were abstainers and we were afraid to go for fear people would find us out," she recalled. "I thought it, was now or never to let him know how we felt. He got the biggest kick out of the way I explained to him lhat we didn't do things like that. 1 "Christmas morning a big dressed hog was brought to my family from Mr. Wilson and that continued every Christmas until Mr. Wilson passed away. "I never came in contact with him that he didn't mention the eggnoEr episode and how much pleasure he got in telling it. "He took an interest in us from our first day and showed it In so many nice ways. "The farmers around Wilson and especially 'Pappy' Cullom and John Uzzelle never let my family want for fresh fruits, pecans and vegetables during the summer and my kitchen looked like a butcher i shop at hog killing time. j "Every year Jack Uzzelle, son; of John Uzzelle, brings me some- ' thing and tells me it is In mem-' ory of his father who never for- i gcH me. "That means more to rue 1 than all the money in the world," added Mrs, Kerlin. "It's wonderful to feel that your services were appreciated anri haven't been forgotten. Christmas mornings we got everything from red roses to the dressed hog from Mr. Wilson. "Cairt you understand why I love this wonderful place?" I ASKED MRS. Kerlin why it was that the company rented her a house to live in for the balance of her'life if she wanted it. 'I knew that the houses in Wilson were only for the employes of the company. She smiled and told me she "even asked Mr. (Jim> Grain for a house in the neighborhood where the telephone exchange had been . . . and got it," she beamed. Mrs. Kerlin, who is 70 and lins been partially crippled since she was four, can get around on her crutches to keep house anrl grow the prettiest flowers imaginable. Not only that, but she drives her midget car atiri C3r. got in and out easily. "When I rpslcned from the telephone company in 1913, I thought I would fulfill all (he dreams I had the 35 years I was with the company. "One thing I planned to do w to sleep. I never did ?el enough sleep. Working in an office Ilk mine, you were on duty practical!' 24 hours every day. "I had an operator but I didn't expect her to do my work. You became so aware of those rincs that you never do really slpep soundly, nerhaps if E hat! not lived in the same building things would have been different, "Another thing I planned to rio was try out ail the recipes I had been saving for years. "During the List war be/ore I retired, there were days and days 1 ate my meats off the switchboard and they were meals I had to order from the Tavern. "I was too busy to cook and really too busy to eat. One other thins I made plans for was to visit friends I had made over the telephone, "Two dear friends of mine. Mrs. Eva Eiktns and Aunt Doty Merrill, and I enjoy going to Sunday school and church and then we go by the Tavern and eat Sunday dinner. • • *~ "ALL OF THOSE things (hat 1 rni^rd for 50 many years are really my life no\v. "One of the things, I hoped ta do was to tp.ich a Sunday school clasn of the very young ones, But he more I thought of being old enough to retire. 1 knew i was too )ld to work with youth so I Rave ip that idea. "An active person has a funny 'eeling about (he word, 'retired' I guess I associate It with old HKC and no woman like.s that." Mrs. Kerlin is active In Eastern Star work. She became a member when she was 18 and is past matron of (he Wilson chapter. She belongs to the United Dashers of Ihe Confederacy and Uie Wilson Co-operative Club. 1 With there activities, she says] she doesn't have time to think aboui old ace. She is a Mcthorti,t i and ha.s belonged to ihc Cullom! )lass In Sunday school for 15, oars. She is a life member, charier member and past president of the' WSCR. i While she was. operator In \Vil-! son. no one in town knew a telephone number nor would they took up a number and one of (he biggest Jobs was to locate everybody In town. "I knew all the time where the majority of the people were. If n doctor was needed. I had to locate! him. If a child at school was wnnl-' ed, il was up to me to find him I and deliver the message. "This was Just part of it as fnr j ; I was concerned and I loved doing it. Once my house cau°ht fire, back In l!)28, nnd I fainted. "When I came to, I was on a cot in the street and Mr. Wilson \vas asking me (f I had rmy Insurant on my furniture, which was all new. "When I (old him I didn't, he said he thought I hnd more sense i than (hat, which made me mad at the moment. "He called Jake. Counts who was in charge of the lumber yard n nd told him to put every carpenter he could find on the house and build It back for me just like I wanted. "FRIENDS SHOWER F.I) Rifls on me to replace the things I lost. [ Just things like that make Wilson a part of me. "Mr. Kerlin died in 1!)31 and the many tokens of friendship I re- j ceivcd will always be dear to my heart,".she said. Mrs. Kerlin remembers when telephone operators were called "hello i girls" because instead of saying ' "number please" they said "heilo." "And I thought it was silly then to say 'thank you' when they told me who they wanted. "It may not have sounded silly in R bigger office where il was necessary to give the operator a number, but when people asked me to find a. person. I thought they PAGE SEVEN TO VISIT ACAI1KMY — J. n. Shelton of Osceola (above) will be one of two members of t h e Arkansas Stnte College ROTO unit to visit the U.S. Military Academy at West Point during (be observance of the Se-smiicrn- lennial of the academy April 2'l-27. Shelton. a sophomore, ami J. C. Weslbrooke of Jnneslmro were selected from 300 ASC students. OLD CABIN STILL <>AND 90PROOF KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY lOUISVItll. CLEARANCE MISSES' AND WOMEN'S SUITS, COATS TOPPERS $25 REGULAR 29.98 COATS Reduced for clearance — our all-wool' coats, expertly made in new 1952 styles. Same now — just as the season begins. REG. 14.98, 16.98 SUITS Xt)( every size in every color, bill a big selection of real buys. Rayon or acetate suits, ideal for all through summer. REG. 24.75 TOPPERS, COATS $20 Save now on all-wool coals and toppers. Rroken sizes and colors. Every one an outstanding buy. lie sure to come early. REGULAR 19.98 COATS All-wool fabrics, sprinf's new styles. A wonder- full oppm-luniiy lo save. on the coal you wanf, right when you want it. REGULAR 12.98 SUITS Cut-priced for o.»icl< clearance. Rayon or acclale suits at a remarkably low price. Be here early for besl selection. C]Q Reg. 10.98 Children's Coats Save now on all wool coats and toppers. Every one an ouIslanding huv. $ 8 .should have said 'f.hriiik jo;i' to me. Rut after so long a tin;e it came easy to me." Mrs. Kerlin has never pnirl a doctor bill nor been prest.meci wn.h one in all the years she has lived in Wilson. "For three months the doctor was at my home three times a ciay anri ha.s visited me or some of my family lets of times since, but not one penny would he take. "Before Dr. Ellis kept a nur.-e In hi.1 office, I kept n record of his caJl.s nnd he would drive by and set the list. "Sometimes I EC(. blue, like most people, and Dr. Ellis will come and give me a pep talk, and we talk over old (imes and the changes that have taken place in the past 25 years and by the time he leaves, I have lorgoten all about my blues." • « . TELEPHONE OPERATORS will always remember the 1037 flood. Mrs. Kerlin said, "Most local lines wnre out of order. For an entire week, we coulrl not, get a call through to Osceola or Memphis. "The only communication we had »•«**>}• n*.ic.-telophone. The papers carried nil the flnod news and pvery morning would leave less and IMS people in (own. "They were scared to dejilh We had no electric light* and the nights were long and dreary. "We scaffolded the switchboard to the ceiling. I knew it wa.s my duty lo slay on the Job regardless of what happened. Every man in town tried to get me to leave but for some reason I never did believe it was my time to die so I stayed on, "I slept in my clothe.': for an entire week, so in case the levee broke 1 could get out. "Gone with the Wind «•»« a new book anil if it hadn't, been for (lip high water. I'd never gotte-n a chance to read it. "I (UJKSS ONE of the biscest deals ever made nve.r a telephone was the million dollar deal Mr. Wilson marie with Harvey Couch. "The Arkansas Power and l.ishl ( Co.. was sold and 1 didn't know a ; thing about it, although i placed the call (o Mr. Couch, until 1 read about it in the morninc paper, Ycu see, operators dnn't have (itne to listen in conversation.';. "There have been a lol of changes in tile telephone ami the services they render fiinc I bc^an Ihe work for in independent company in MaiMon. Mo. "The phones then , wore the kipd you had to ri:lc. ' If we rnuld be rec^i and tosseri ! inl'j a new environment, (he result would be astounding, but that be- • ins impossible, I'm happy the way j life has turned out for me and if j I had a choice lo make !x*tween ! Wilson and any other town.-I'd still choose Wilson." Mrs. Kerlin has one daughter, ! Mrs. Earl Cress of West Memphis, and a Rranrison of whom she is very proud. He is in his ihird year of medical school. Movie Returns After War Ban brought the picture back with much fanfare. The theater manager reports that attendance was only fair. It wasn't that the people wer« afraid of mire this time. But most of them knew nearly all there wai to know about war. H was In the spring of I!M2 that Erich Maria Rcmnrruir's great antiwar sermon came out of Hollywood to Germany. Since Miller ha'd not yet attained complete power, devious means had to be i!M>rt to keep younR Germans from seeing war unglamori/.ed. Hitler's Brown Shirk accomplished their purpose by releasing 200 while mice among (he audience. Women screamed and (he (heater emptied quickly in the ensuing riot, a German spectator recalled The picture was a Hop. _Koccnllyj^ Frankfurt movie house ! Toll-Gate Protest 'Fails in California SAN PRDRO, Calif. W,—When the city built a parkins toll-gate at nearby Cabrillo Beach recently, bathers used swimming suits In protest. Inside the swim suius. the antl- tolt-eaiers placed (heir most beautiful bathing girls who carried placards protesting the parking charge. However, the bathing beauties failed to Impress the city ccuncll which put the toll into effect any- wav. Cowboy's Hat Secrete \Are Revealed at Meet ! ALBUQUERKE. N. M l/I'j Bver j wonder how the brim of a cowboy's | hat got that way? Inquiry among C'OO cattlemen here for an annual convention shows: Hnb Shores processed his hat In steam from his wife's pressure corker. Hunter Greer "just lelt his hit out in the rain until il curled." "Nonsense." retorted J. Heinmann, "Just sprinkle water on it and tie It with a string." Head (courier News Classified Ads ady for Choice of colon . . . plastfe handle with braided loop . . . four extra ribs. Attractive— and^well constructed too! Can he. blown inside out with no damage. Be prepnred for those Spring showers. NOW $ ONLY GET YOURS TODAY! B.F. Goodrich TubelessTire Seals Punctures and Protects Against Blowouts . . earned its name "LIFE-SAVER" as the first tire in history to give real protection against all three tire hazards: i. PUNCTURES prz > ':r;.o uu ± r , <rcad Kau 2. BLOWOUTS Inrc / '.'."''"! 'f'mt air—gives you ISc " "grip-Mock" ircad oulslops olhcr n'rcj on slippery roach. i TRADE FOR A SET ON YOUR CAR NOW Costs less than regular •« < m life with safely lube '°7 "T ond yovr ofd lin '""' ° "' on your tor Alumalila 3<awn Mower 3.00 Down 1.25 Weekly Whpr!= ;\nd sH-* p!ntt\i arc itio cast from ahimrmini alloy. Air cnsViinn riil.lxr lirra — Milf. a'ijusttnc rffl hearings — metal ha nrl lr - - r; n; f t operation. r.f ch? -.v^ic'Iif. for minimum phy.airal ''yortinn. Raked cnam"l nnd rhrnmc finish. Rock Bottom Price Softlm!? Rearri "offirinl." Durable cot- 'nn trip \virninp-. Special corn- rc"~'"'1 f"" 1 !* cantor fnr long r-\ f.<"'''T rov?r 12" size. B.F.Goodrich " B lMMi ' ^Hk " V "'* >" ' »«*• <*?•»»'••*'*• -*g•--" ^ .F. Goodrich 417 W. Main Phone 6767 KELLEY'S Friendly Shoes 219 West Main In Blytheville It's Smart fo Shop and Save in A Friendly Store LADIES DRESS SHOES Arrived Late for Easter 1 Gp. J Gp. 1 Gp. 1 Gp. — High Heel Retl H;iby Doll Pumps — ion Snake Skin Pumps — Miilfi-Color Hiph Heel Sandals — Red Hi K h Heel Sandals — Lavender High Heel Sandals — Medium Heel White Sandals All in Medium Width Only Pretty Shoes ONLY Ladies First Quality Hose Dupont Nylons—51-15 and 54-15 Limited O Q C Quantity - 88 Ladies Casuals and Flats Casuals Imitation Snake Skin White Linen Low Wedge Pump Low Heel Flats Pink-White Sandals In Colors Ladies Spaghetti Sandals Colors—Red, Blue, White, Purple, Pink, Tan, Yellow, Orange Sizes—4'/j fo 9 in all colors Also Other Sandals Kiddies P.P. Canvas Summer Play Shoos . . . I'oani Rubber Arch — Colors — Red — 2 98 Men's Better Sox - 2 pr.41 Men's Work Shoes - 4.98-8.95 Men's Dress Shoes - 7.98-16.95 FRl D A Y—S ATU III) A Y—MOM) A Y KELLEY'S Your Friendfy Shoe Store 219 West Main — In HlythevilU

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