When was the last time you made a phone call from a pay phone booth? Heck, when was the last time you even saw a phone booth? While we’ve been busy texting and downloading and surfing the web, phone booths have disappeared right out from under our noses, much like the album store and the electric typewriter and a slew of other things I can’t think of because out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Sigh.
The phone booth in Prairie Grove recently received lots of attention when a lady fell asleep at the wheel and plowed into it. Since it only generated about four bucks in annual revenue, the Prairie Grove Telephone Company (serving the western portion of Washington County), debated about “retiring” it. Forced retirement is rarely a good thing. People took to social media and raised a hullabaloo about their beloved phone booth. It had become a photo op destination and part of what made Prairie Grove special. The phone booth was not only repaired, it’s been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
And that’s pretty cool.
Can you imagine all the phone calls placed in this small space since 1959? Words spoken. Promises made. Pleas pled by curfew-breaking teenagers. But mom…
There’s a phone book inside, too.
According to Smithsonian, the world’s first pay phone was installed at the corner of Main Street and Central Row in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. There’s a plaque to mark the spot. As phone booths become extinct, maybe Prairie Grove’s phone booth will someday be the last working pay phone booth.
Or maybe pay phone booths will become WiFi hot spots. It could happen. Maybe?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Robert Cray – Phone Booth