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Photo of the day: A 90-year-old’s cell phone

You know how you share one set of grandparents with your first cousins? I’m sad to say that my grandparents have all passed on, but I’m still very lucky to still have one nonagenarian in my life — my first cousins’ other grandmother. Her name is Jill and ever since I was a little kid I’ve called her my “pseudo-grandma”. She’s a hoot, and a very independent woman even at 90 years old.

Recently I was at a family gathering at her apartment in Great Neck when I saw her cell phone sitting on the coffee table. It’s an old clamshell phone that my aunt and uncle must have bought for her five or six years ago. But the remarkable thing about it is what’s taped to the back: dialing instructions.

It turns out that one of my cousins wrote the instructions for her and taped them on phone after too much frustration from Grandma Jill that she didn’t know how to use the damn thing. Now if she could just find her glasses…

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  • Martha Mihaly

    My friend's grandma has a Jitterbug. Stupid simple – well designed. Life saver.

  • http://whysel.com Noreen

    Cute! Hope she isn't color blind…black on red?

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

      She actually has pretty good eyesight for a 90-year-old!

  • http://www.reallysarahsyndication.com Sarah Lipman

    That's a classic — great one!

    My grandmother had a Jitterbug, too (she died last year age 92). Since she was nearly blind, she had the three-button version — I think they were 9-1-1, my aunt's number, and Operator — the Jitterbug operator will put through any call to anyone on your call list.

    She didn't use the phone much, but it was a great comfort to her having it, especially the time her building lost electricity AND phone service for 3 days straight.

  • :)

    That's nothing… my grandma asked her grandson to mark the 55mph mark on the speedometer with red nail polish because it had wore off and she didn't know how fast she was going.

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

      That's incredible. Sure wish I had a photo of that for my Photo of the Day
      series! Think you can get a pic?

  • http://davidwrotethis.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/how-i-became-a-luddenite/ David

    I identify with Grandma.

  • Cousin Will

    You should have seen the various pieces of paper we taped to the computer we got her in 1998. That experiment ended after several months of her sending us blank emails.

    I wonder what our grandkids will make fun of us about. :)

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

      Absolutely nothing! We'll be perfect, I'm sure ;)

  • yahnyinlondon

    I still haven't managed to get my 91 year old Grandmother to use either a mobile phone or a computer. She has spoken to me on my parent's webcam but she struggles with her hearing on both that and a landline phone. Over the last 6 years we've managed to get by sending letters to each other and I send her postcards from wherever I travel to.
    It always brightens my day to receive something from her in the post, much better than bills that's for sure!

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

      I remember my grandma's letters fondly. I will always treasure something
      handwritten over an email, but an email from grandma sure would have been a