Here’s a Quarter

pay phoneWhen was the last time you used a pay phone? With a cell phone in the pocket of nearly every American adult and many of the kids, pay phones have all but disappeared from the American streetscape.

And yet, if you stroll around downtown Chillicothe, you’ll find at least two of them. That’s how many I’ve seen anyway.

When I was in college in the late nineties, there were over two million pay phones in this country. One of them was in the basement of a classroom building I frequented and I often used it to call home.

Now there’s only about 100,000 phones left in this country and I have read that many remain profitable. In Chillicothe, the phones I’ve seen are outside government buildings where you have to assume a large volume of foot traffic keeps them busy.

It seems like such an oddity that I couldn’t help but stop and snap a picture. I kind of wanted to make a call but had no reason to and I’m enough of a germophobe I really couldn’t make myself touch the receiver. But it’s reassuring to know that they’re still around.

There was a time I could hardly picture a city street clear of payphones and now they’re such relics I stop and take a picture! My, how times have changed!

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