Who can tell me where you can find this ancient artifact?  Maybe you can’t.  I took the picture several years ago when visiting a ghost town and experiencing a second life.

For young folks, these devices were the basis for the saying, dropped a dime.  Which meant someone ratted you out to the police.  When I was a young fellow, these contraptions were on corners and at stores and restaurants.  At the time, it cost a dime to make a local call from a payphone.  When I was a teenager, the price climbed to 25 cents.  When you needed one, it always seemed, someone who got the first monopolized the phone.

Superman supposedly changed in a telephone booth, which was mostly glass.  I’ll wager he exposed himself to passersby on more than one occasion.  That was a joke in the initial Superman movie with Christopher Reeve.  He rushed to a corner and discovered the booth had been replaced by a phone on a post.

When I was a young reporter like Clark Kent, we didn’t have cellphones quite yet.  I had a page to call the office.  I saw a booth at a gas station and stopped.  A plow had backed snow up against the door.  I scaled the pile and then had to get back out.  By climbing a slippery hard-pack while in a topcoat and dress shoes.

In some parts of Idaho, payphones still make sense.  Cell service is spotty in the mountains.  I’ve had that experience when I’ve tried to text.  We’ve grown so accustomed to the convenience that when it’s gone, we feel a loss.

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