The UPS guy came to my door yesterday and said, “That is the neatest doorbell I’ve ever seen!” I was slightly dumbfounded that anyone would even notice my doorbell.
What I like about it is that if you actually ring it, which most people don’t, it really clangs loudly and I can hear it from anywhere in the house. I explained to him that it is a replica of a San Francisco cable car bell that signaled “all aboard” and impending stops. We bought it years ago in honor of my husband’s father who worked the cable cars as a gripman when he was a young man. Of course, we heard all about it from the source, how when the street car is free wheeling down one of those steep hills, the gripman had to use his great strength to keep the giant clamp on the cable to make sure it didn’t careen out of control, and release the cable when it approached it’s stop, along with the applying the brake to keep it from jolting people off the car. The cable moves continuously under the street and the car is attached and unattached as it makes it’s route.
The guy was amazed at the mechanics of the cable cars and how it worked. I immediately went outside and cleaned it up a bit. It has a big stain from a wayward bird “dropping” by, and the door, has a few dings and has seen better days. His son, George, rode the street cars free to school, a San Francisco tradition for school children, but Gus would let him ride free on non-school days, something MY parents would never have done. Gus would smile and rub his hair and say “Com’on Chachi”. He loved his only child with unabashed displays of affection, even as an adult.
Strange what memories a simple comment about a doorbell can engender. It left me with warm feelings all day as I thought back on those days.