“The Spool Table” by Carol Wissmann

Related image

We laughed together—sharing that knowing that comes from living through the same era.

I still have it, I said. It’s here in the den, doing duty as a desk for the telephone.

The physical distance between us diminished, tied together, as we were, by the telephone lines. Time turned backwards.

Where the ubiquitous spools originated, I knew not. But every self-respecting hippie had one. They came in all sizes—perhaps reels for the miles of cable that now linked us. Industrial bobbins that, when turned on their sides, served as tables from kitchen to bedstead.

I remember it! she blurted. Her recollection mingled with mine.

I even painted it,”
I continued, with barn-red paint, left from painting the dog-house—my attempt at interior design, I suppose.

We shared another laugh.

Oh, and for years I kept that mille fiore candle on it,
I recalled.

Ah, yes! The candle of a thousand flowers, the most beautiful in my collection of many. Coupled with the spool table, no hippie-home would be complete without candles, lots and lots of candles lighting cost-cutting nights keeping electricity at a minimum.

Oh my God, she fairly screamed. Her voice sent the phone lines vibrating.  I remember the candle, too!

We talked on, reliving memories—the spool rolling easily back and forth between the two of us. Occasionally our times together had been tangled, like chain snagged and caught in twists and knots. But on that night on the telephone, the thread between us unraveled as easily as a ball of dropped yarn. And line strung from some long-ago spool, now connected the shared memories of two old friends.




Carol Wissmann has been a freelance writer for over 60 business, trade, consumer, and university periodicals. A frequent speaker at writers’ conferences, she shares her business and sales expertise in her popular “Profiting from Periodicals” workshop, tutors students in English composition, and dabbles in semi-retirement from her Gig Harbor, Washington home.