Alana Macfarlane, "the Girl On the Telephone Pole."
the famed 20 year old who was one of the first female telephone installers.
But, who is this Alana Macfarlane? What were her hopes and dreams? Where is this "Alana Macfarlane" today?
An interview with her and her sister, Bonnie Macfarlane:
"I would never like to go through fame and popularity ever again--willingly. At least now I'd know how to handle it." Spoke the 58 year old.
Bonnie - "Everyone had life magazine in their homes and there were branches of magazines...pretty much everyone knew, she did a T.V. Commercial it was a big deal. Which also brought a lot of jealousy."
Alana- "I remember, the guys would try to get me enemies for example when they were teaching me how to take apart a telephone they told me to do it with one hand. Well I was born with a gift of being good with my hands so I'd be in a room just taking the phone apart with all of the guys who had to do it with both hands and the guy would say 'well Alana can do it with one hand.' which made the other guys look bad."
Bonnie- "They were basically jealous."
Alana- " and there were a number of situations like that."
Bonnie- "Yeah, and if you think about it, she wasn't given any money-"
Alana- "a dollar."
Bonnie- "As I was saying she wasn't given any money and she was model beautiful and 6 ft tall-"
Alana- "5 ft 10."
Bonnie- "As I was saying 6 ft tall..."
"The first time I climbed a telephone pole I remember thinking that I wasn't going to make it. I was sheet white. And they had basket balls and we were supposed to throw basket balls to each other and it was so fun. I remember thinking that, being pain, to climb telephone poles and throw basket balls to each other that I could do this for the rest of my life (laughs) if you don't mind... of course it was never like that ever again."
If the fame, embarrassment and the jealousy of her coworkers weren't enough to make her quit, it was the gas treated poles.
"I hated the gas treated poles. There was a long metal bar strapped to your boot and there was a sort of angle that your boot rests on and there's a pik (spike) on the bottom of it so you could walk up the pole going pik pik pik pik pik but the gas treated poles, it was okay if they were new because they were curved but the older ones...everyone else had gone up so there were lots og crevases and when you kicked down for all you know you could be kicking the air or not going far enough, and it came to a point where I hated it and I was going to quit. I was already depressed. And I remember the Union President, who was super cool--really cool and he said 'don't quit, I'll take care of it' and I didn't, because hey, I had nothing to lose."
Alana ended up quitting anyway and went to the U.S. Air force whic got her into as much trouble as when she was a telephone installer. There, she met her "very rotter horrible first husband."
Bonnie- "Well than why did you marry him?"
Alana- "I married him because of guilt, shame and I guess I was empty and lonely."
Alana tried to be a good wife, and they both worked as electronic techicians. But then, her husbad started stealing. "I threatened to tell the police and he threatened to beat me and kill me." She had to leave him.
For a long time, she and her sister lived together, working and going to college. No one helped them so it was work school work school work school.
Alana- "Niether of us believed that we would get the jobs we wanted, did you believe you'd be an attorney?"
Alana- "And I know I didn't believe I was going to be an engineer. So we had funny lives because of that."
Since Alana was very young, her dream had been to be and Engineer. Her parents laughed at her stelling her it was impossible. After college, she got her first Engineer job at Piano Disk. She worked there for 4 years. She then worked for Level One for 3 years, and then it was bought by Intel, where she worked there for 5 years.
Now, she is mentally disabled and stays at hope, taking care of her 15 year old daughter. She has a loving husband and is very happy. Her name now, is Alana Yorba.
* Hannah Yorba, a wild 15 year old loves heights ironically. She climbs 50 ft. trees and was at home in Beaverton Oregon. Back in California she now lives in a suburb of Sacramento where there are practically no trees. And "no fun". Since she was 4 she was climbing. At her church, there was a playground area for the children which was surrounded by 6-7ft fence. Alana recalls seeing her "baby" sitting on the spiked fence in horror. Because of the incident, the church put a metal cover on top of that fence because of that little girl who wanted to climb. Hannah loves freedom and grabs at every chance of it. She looks up to her mom and has a copy of that picture of her mom hanging on her bedroom wall.
"The last time my Mom climbed anything was 8-9 years ago. She wanted to climb our plum tree and I remember, she was in a snow angel position--except she wasn't moving. I remember just looking up at her in awe, "Hannah, go get your father!!" She didn't climb anything after that, now she can't even ride a bycicle because it's to scary thanks to the medication she takes." -Hannah