by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #5
Taken from the Crane News, published June 26, 1997.


     The telephone office was on the corner where it is now. However, it was a frame house with an apartment in the back.  The office consisted of one panel of holes with a swivel chair in front for the sole operator.  The whole thing was run by Norene Cross and her sister Bennie, now Bennie Curfew of Crane.  One called in and got the operator with a ring.  She would say "number please."  If you knew the number you were calling, say 12 or 8, she would plug your phone into that number.  For some reason I remember No. 21.  If you didn't know the number, they did.  You called for a certain person's house and they rang it.  The two sisters lived in the back of the house.  They served twenty-four hours a day, running tour on the switch board.  We pronounced that "Tower."  The oil- field workers also ran tours also.  One year the telephone company let the girls build a tennis court out back of the building.  It became quite popular.

     I made the first direct dial telephone calls out of Crane.  Dr. B. J. Maynard was mayor but graciously allowed the Mayor Pro Tem (me) to make the first call, compliments of the telephone company.  I remember I called my son, Larry, who was serving in the U.S. Coast Guard at Key West, Florida.  They said to make another so I called a sweet old aunt in Indiana.

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