Friday, April 04, 2014

D is for dime phone call.

My Dad worked at the local telephone company as a repairman.  He would go out and work on the pay phones.  I would see the phones around town, and chirp, "my Dad put that phone booth in."  I would think it really cool to be riding around at night, and see the glow from the overhead light in the booth, making a friendly light in otherwise dark areas.

He also collected the coin boxes.  You wouldn't think a box full of dimes (and later quarters) would be that big of a deal, but I picked one up, and they are HEAVY.  Dad had to take several of the boxes to the bank.  Most of the time the bank tellers would just open the door, and lead him to the back, where he would lift up the boxes for them to take care of.  He knew when there was a new person, because they would stop him at the desk, and they would take care of it.


Then the next time, he would be led to the back, where he would do the heavy lifting again...

I liked to watch Dad work on the different parts of the equipment, from the "peds" outside, to climbing poles, to digging about inside the phones themselves.  Once in a while, after I learned to drive, I would see him, and I would stop, and we'd chat, usually he working, while I would hand him tools.  Once or twice, if it was at a person's house, they might come out and ask how long I'd been working.  Feeling mischievous one time, I looked at my watch, and said, "Oh, about ten minutes..."  Laughing, Dad then introduced me.

It's somewhat sad to me, there are no phone booths that I know of in the area.  I wish there were.  While it isn't the regular need that it used to be with cell phones.  But batteries die, phones are not with the person, and there are even those who still don't have a phone.

So there times when they could use a phone... Attached to the ground, or not.


  1. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Nice nostalgic post! I'll have a look around, love your easy writing style! Gail

  2. Pay phones are just one of the many things I'm nostalgic about. As a kid I never felt richer than when I found a few quarters left in a payphone.

  3. Been quite a while since you could make a call for a dime.
    Sue Ann Bowling
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  4. Wonderful memories! We still see the occasional pay phone, but no booths.

    You are right about those coins being heavy! Your father must have been in great shape.

  5. Today I decided to have a random hop around the list for my 5 blogs this morning, your title pulled me in and I just had to come and have a look.

    Great post, I really enjoyed your story. I'm of an age where I remember life without mobiles and indeed as a student and living away from home we didn't have a house phone so phone boxes (I live in the UK) were the only links to friends and family.

    Recently in a storm our corner phone box was destroyed by a tree... although I've never used it if they replace it I might just have to go in and use the new one to give it some love.

    Curling Stones for Lego People

  6. I remember using the telephone box in my youth where we had to press Button A to connect to the other person and Button B to retrieve our money if they didn't answer.

  7. I still see the odd pay phone in metro stations in Montreal. I used to check them all for change as a kid. Nice post!

  8. When I moved from India in 1974, I did use the Dime pay phone. such a nostalgic post wow !

  9. I feel so sad that I never got to experience phone booths or call boxes. And I'm even more sad that my kids missed out. They don't really know what it's like to have to depend on a land line, because even tho they don't have mobiles, all their friends do, so they are never far from being able to communicate with anyone they wish at any given moment. To me, that really diminishes the the special ability of communication -- we really take for granted that which comes too easily. Great post!

    I'm participating in AtoZ, too.
    See you around!


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