Friday Fictioneers 7.28.17: “Love On The Line # 2”

This week’s Friday Fictioneers picture prompt reminded me of a delightful and heart-melting true story that I read about several years ago. It took place during WWII, and involved a real U. S. serviceman, the woman who was the love of his life, and a tender-hearted, romantic telephone operator. I was so touched by the story that I told it (changing names, etc.) in a poem on this site about four years ago. That poem, however, in order to tell the whole story properly, took much more than 100 words.

But when I saw the picture today, I just couldn’t get away from that love story, so I’ve tried my best to squeeze it into the requirements for our FF challenge. I’m still 14 words over the limit, but if your romance outweighs your legalism, you might enjoy it anyway.

Today’s thought-provoking prompt comes to us from J. Hardy Carroll.



“Operator, I’m calling Susan Wheeler, St. Louis.”
“This blizzard may interfere with connection, sir.”
“Please try, my 2-day leave is almost gone.”

“I have a call for Susan Wheeler from Bill Meadows in Boston.”
“This is Susan.”
“Hold please. Go ahead sir.”
“Susan! Sweetheart!”
“Oh, Bill, I was getting worried.”
“Honey, the blizzard’s too bad for me to get there, but I must ask you something important.”
“Sorry sir, we’ve lost your connection.”
“NO! Please. I’m trying to propose!”
“It’s no use sir.”
“But she can hear me. Shall I relay your question?”
“Yes, please; I have to know! Ask her if she’ll marry me.”

“Great news, Sir. She says yes!”

If you’re interested enough to get the more complete version, here’s a link to the poem.




28 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers 7.28.17: “Love On The Line # 2”

  1. Dear Sandra,

    You’re forgiven the overage. Very touching piece. It’s when self-indulgent writers go 50 words or more over claiming their work is too precious to stay within the word limit that I get a bit cranky. I believe I’ve read this scenario somewhere before. Lovely.



    1. Thanks, Rochelle. You may have come across this story elsewhere. It was originally written up in a periodical many years ago by the people involved. The whole story — with no substitutions that I found necessary — is very touching and inspiring.

    1. Thanks, Iain. It was actually easier to put into a poem — with no word-limit, of course — and I was able to give more details. Even at that, though, I couldn’t match the telling of the entire experience by the people involved. They wrote the story for a periodical years ago, and I’m sure it inspired a lot of romantic hearts.

  2. Great little tale but absolutely gorgeous poem. Vi was such a romantic. Very hard to imagine such people in today’s impatient world.

    1. Thank you. When I read the original story (written for a periodical by the people themselves) it was so beautiful and touching I couldn’t hold back the tears.

  3. Beautiful tale. You maybe didn’t need to put in her city. It would have read as well without.
    And he should have skipped the excuse and popped the question while he had connection. Good thing the operator was helpful. šŸ˜

    1. In order to keep the story accurate for the 1940’s, he would have had to give the city for the operator to be able to find the party and place the call. Moreover, since he was scheduled to make the trip to St. Louis to be with Susan, he had to give some explanation for not keeping his word to her, or she definitely wouldn’t have been disposed to say yes. I really think in this case, the details are necessary for the credibility.

  4. Ahh, that was sweet. I love that this was based on a true story. I used to work with a lady who was one of those telephone operators. She never had a story this good, but she was the kind of lady who would have served to get the proposal through.

    1. We’ll certainly never get treatment like that from computers. It’s totally history that will never be repeated —– unless, of course, the grid goes down, and someone comes up with a way to re-invent the rotary phone. We might actually get back to a sane existence again. For certainly, these thousands of people who can’t make a move or go 10 minutes without a blue tooth stuck in their ear or without interrupting a conversation with one person to text three different people at the same time have made our world ludicrously insane.

    1. Yes, big sigh. I’m finding romance harder and harder to remember these days. Stories like this help a little — but make me a little jealous as well. šŸ™‚

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