Seventh annual Telephone Operators Reunion held

The seventh annual Telephone Operators Reunion was held Monday, May 5, at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Vandalia, with former Illinois Bell operators and former Illinois Bell employees who worked in other departments present.
There was a lot of visiting and reminiscing both before and after dinner, with stories told and pictures taken through the years bringing back fond memories.
Loretta Nickels gave the blessing before dinner.
Former employees and guests present from Vandalia and nearby areas were Kathy Stokes, Donna Chrisman, Pat Jackson, Bonnie Donnals, Delila Beckman, Loretta Nickels, Wally Bertram, Bessie Jones, Connie Eakin, Gloria Ledbetter, Pat Hagy, George and Amy Meseke, Jean Reece, Una Funk, Ben and Billyanna Forbis, and Elloise & Dean Black.
Traveling from other areas were: Suzette (Brooks) Evans, Decatur; Norma and Bill Blunt, Sandoval; Marilyn and Tom Nicolay, Centralia; Ruby Funk, Ruth Jordan, Ken and Esther Henry, Greenville; Willie and Arlene Smith, Woodlawn; Edna Clymer, Camby Ind., who traveled the farthest.
After dinner, former employees introduced themselves and told about their service with Illinois Bell, what their jobs were and where they worked.
It has been 51 years since there were telephone operators in Vandalia. Dial conversion was on Aug. 18, 1963. The telephone business office closed 31 years ago on Oct. 14, 1983.
The group will have another reunion next year on the first Monday in May at Ponderosa.

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