Friday, August 16, 2013

Countdown to the 45th: Middle Years

Christmas 1985
Where do the years go? That's the dominant question that bubbles in my brain as I have spent part of August looking for photos. I wonder how we ever got through the child raising years. There were several times when we had one child in each of the three schools in the Laker District. I felt that I could never be in the right place at the right time with the right kid.

Ed grew up fast when his Dad, John Eichler, died in 1988. With his brother Neal by his side, he's taken Pigeon Telephone through lots of changes and it has emerged as a stable force for employment in our county and the Thumb area of Michigan. There were lots of bumps along the way but he stuck it out, and the two of them even added other businesses (Bay Port State Bank, some real estate, Main Street Cafe) to their list of "we-can-do-it" endeavors.

November 1974 -- Photo op with Willie, at Grandpa and Grandma's new house on Paul Street
Our early years in Pigeon were spent with me caring for our children and doing some newspaper work, along with volunteer work. Ed worked as a lineman for the phone company when we first moved to Pigeon.

There were a lot of times when the weather would get bad, a rainstorm or snowstorm, and a Huron County sheriff's patrol car would pull into our yard. the phones were out and central dispatch in Bad Axe sent a car to fetch the repair guy. There was a knock on the door. "Is Ed here? The lines are down on such-and-such a road," and off Ed would go into the night to repair the overhead grid.

I totally do not miss those times. A buried cable plant is a wonder and our communications today are incredible, compared to the party lines of the early years.

When we moved from Illinois where Ed and I were teaching junior high, one of our colleagues, a naive fellow teacher, asked if there was indoor plumbing in Pigeon. Well, yes, but in our early years here, the phone lines needed constant repair. Now there is an underground cable plant, well maintained and operational, with fiber optics.

No more pounding on the back door in the middle of the night!

Copyright 2013
Wanda Hayes Eichler

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