honestly cannot recall the first time I noticed that pay telephones
were missing in such great numbers.
know thatís not a weird statement. Many people have tried to share
observations about things from days gone by that would look completely
out of place today. Pay phones tend to be at the top of every
list. So, on the surfaceÖ missing phone boothsÖ ha ha. No kidding.
the weird part for me is that I have a couple of offbeat ideas
floating around in my head about phones.
up, I can still recall the calling card numbers I used decades
ago to contact family.
today likely wonít understand outrageous long distance call charges
or the possible need to call your parents from pay phone. They
donít have the firsthand experience with something like coming
home from school, being locked out of the house, and just sitting
around and waiting because there was no way to contact the person
you were looking to reach.
I can recall driving around a bit on a weekend to find a pay phone
so I could talk to my parents about some extra time out since
the movie ran long and the group wanted to grab something to eat.
even with offering up a couple of examples already, I donít ever
remember being tied to phones or needing them that often.
I do have memories about making and receiving calls that involved
accepting the charges. And I always had a bit of change in my
pocket so I could make local calls easily when the needs came
around. But I wasnít using pay phones every day, nor was there
a dependence on them for random communication.
way the disappearance registered with me was a bit strange. I
used to regularly find myself in places, including where I worked,
that had sets of payphones. Not just one. And not one over here
and another over there. I mean banks of five or so payphones lined
up and ready to go. One day, it just struck me that they had been
removed. And, for about a week after that, I noticed that they
had been removed from a lot of places.
phones werenít just diminishing in numbers, they were no longer
a reliable option for use.
for a bit of a twist though. Because a pay phone is not the only
reason I started this journey.
been wondering about the changing landscape of our communities
a lately. Does anyone else remember that if you pulled into the
parking lot of a bank you were going to find a mailbox? I canít
be the only one that remembers that. Banks and drug stores. Essentially,
if you were out running errands, there were quite likely ways
to cut down on the number of stops you needed to make.
friend and I were joking around about this, and he tried to involve
ATMs arriving in all sorts of places. I gave him a tentative agreement
on it being similar, but I had an issue that neither of us could
answer. When it comes to ATMs, I feel like many of the units that
have been installed are less about convenience and more about
collecting the fees that come with using them.
donít have any change in my cars now. There was always a dollar
or two in quarters and assorted coin. Not these days. Couldnít
tell you the last time there was any change in my car.
world keeps spinning. Some change is good, some convenient, and
some about making money. I can make an international phone call
for free while sitting on a bench in the park. Notice whatever
changes you will.