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  • Writer's pictureHeather Davis

Remember When a Telephone Was a Telephone?

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

Remember when we actually spoke live to another person. Heard their voice, their inflections, their emotions and laughter? The letters LOL will never replace the sound of laughter. Period.

The awesome old telephones were never meant to replace interaction. It was for brief exchanges, most often to facilitate the meet-up plan.

Old Talk is my homage to the old school payphone.

Old Talk - Urban Natural Designs handcrafted artwork

Sometimes they rewarded you with a surprise gift of a coin in the return. Sometimes a nice lady would come on and firmly let us know that if we didn’t feed more coins, our call would end. That was nothing more than a challenge to quickly speed up our thoughts and jokes and plans in an impromptu game of beat the clock.

It was how business, legal or not, was handled.

In a fancy hotel, you could sit and too be fancy while you spun your tales. You might even be fortunate enough to get your own booth, a little private respite from the noisy world around. Clark Kent and Underdog used them as changing booths before flying off to save the world.

Before mass OCD and hand sanitizer, we gave not a thought to the trillions of germs hanging out on the handset, being nosy, listening in to private conversations that was none of their business. Believe it or not, we even lived to tell about it and to chat another day.

Payphones peaked at 2.6 million in the U.S. in 1995, the same year IBM launched Simon, a brick and the first smartphone.

In 2018, less than 100,000 remain in the country.

So, let us take a moment to remember back to when a phone was a phone before they are gone forever.

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