During a recent visit to the gas station, I saw what used to be the best option for mobile communication. Pictured below is what was once a public telephone. Now it looks like some post apocalyptic relic from the past, which I suppose it is!
Funny how something – now bordering on archaic – was such a ubiquitous and useful tool.
I have many fond memories of public phones. I remember using a public phone to call home from the local bus station to let my folks know I had arrived in one piece from college and was ready for pick up.
During a past professional life, I relied on public phones to call in stories during my days as an intrepid radio journalist. I think I still have the little gizmo that connected my tape recorder (yes, tape) to the handset of the phone. Serious mid 80s high tech!
Those of you of a certain age may also recall that we couldn’t leave the house on Saturday night without having emergency change in our pocket to make a call home.
Speaking of emergencies, I remember having to walk a good quarter mile along Route 30 in Absecon to call my father because my (not the most reliable car) Ford Escort had broken down.
While not shown here, a part of the pay phone experience was the phone book. As a slight aside, a couple of decades ago I had a pal who made a decent amount of cash on the side selling Yellow Page ads. Probably not a profitable venture to explore these days.
It’s ironic that I used a mobile phone (a rapidly rotting piece of fruit) to snap a picture of a old public phone.
Well I wonder what’s next? Maybe 25 to 30 years from now, two-way communication devices will be hard wired into our cerebellum. Instead of dialing, we’ll just have to think about who we want to call.
I guess at some point I’ll find something to do with that emergency change I have stashed in my glove compartment!