But when my grandfather died suddenly and without warning in 1956, Mattie Seavey was a widow at age 50. Whether it was financial necessity, or simply out of boredom, she went to work at the Portland Press Herald as a telephone operator.
Since she didn’t drive, that meant taking the bus to and from Cottage Road, in South Portland, in town to the newspaper office. Although we lived relatively close by, I don’t have any memory of my father taking her in or picking her up, although he may have done so, if the weather was bad.
I do have memories of her describing how the operators had to pronounce the word for the number 9: enunciating clearly, almost like “ni-en.” It always made me laugh.
Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog is presenting her Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month series in honor of National Women’s History Month.