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I've always been something of a telco geek, including, back then, knowing all the prefixes that went with each central office.

Mid-1980s: I was moving to a new place on Fort Worth's west side and called SWBell to arrange phone service. The representative rattled off the new number, "377-something."

"377?," I asked. "Is that a new exchange?" "Yes," she answered. "Umm, are the last 4 digits 2327 (BEAR) available?"... "Great, I'll take them.

Thus I started with 377-BEAR, handy since US Hwy 377 ran nearby.

About a year and a half later, I was moving closer to downtown, next to the museum district, to be closer to the teaching hospital where I worked. Being the same central office, I got to keep the same phone number. But the association with HWY 377 no longer fit.

So, one afternoon, taking a break from a Numerical Analysis take-home final, I started playing to see if the letters associated with 377 spelled anything. WOO-HOO!
EUREKA!!! I now had FRR-BEAR for a phone number. (That's where the double-R comes from.)

It was also handy at the bar: "Heh... that's cute FRR-BEAR." "Yeah, all that's missing is U." Granted it was a corny pickup line, but it was very successful; guys remembered the number, and more importantly, called for dates. Damn I miss that house: enclosed patio and hot tub, huge kitchen large enough for 6 cooks,...

Fwd to the '90s: Moved. No longer had that number, but the nickname with the bears and the rodeo crowd stuck, so the online moniker "FurrBear" fit.

FRR-BEAR lives on as vanity car tags in both CA and TX.


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May 2013

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