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I’m at a Payphone- Call #1

By   /  April 30, 2018  /  2 Comments


Alex Hughes– April  2018…..This is a brand new series where I highlight broken payphones in the City of Vista! As I said before, they are an example of how we used to call people on the go. Now with smartphones, they are being neglected. Some are in awful condition with the essentials missing such as the phonebook, the handheld or the whole phone itself! That is where I want to show that responsibility needs to be taken to repair these phones. If you want some background, here is the introduction article: http://thevistapress.com/ditched-payphones-are-crumbling/.

The payphone I will talk about today is located on South Santa Fe right in front of “The House” which is a skateboard shop. It is installed on the sidewalk and is in an interesting location as there are no main points of reference or interest. Granted there are storefronts, but it is not like a gas station or government office is nearby where many congregate. Maybe, it was put here to attract the occasional pedestrian walking along.

Photos by Alex Hughes

You first notice this phone by the off-color paint on the sides of the box where holes are made to look like the handset part of the phone- a design meant to visually tell someone that they can call. Unfortunately, the phone has been the victim of many tags from the Post Office stickers that left adhesive behind to the gibberish swished on in bright colors. However, someone had come along to cover the grafitti up but had to compromise the most important information for callers. A beige paint hid the calling rate as well as the fine print- not that anybody reads that! Sitting at the bottom of the case was a crumbled up McDonald’s wrapper that immediately said Egg McMuffin. No phonebook was in the black case that hung from the bottom which was just a hollowed out piece of plastic.

What is really sad about this phone is that I couldn’t possibly make a call considering that the whole handset was missing! At the end of the metal coil, it had been sliced off with no wires protruding. I don’t know why anybody would steal this part considering that they could not use it themselves. The phone does not serve a purpose anymore in this condition. However, it could with some small fixes. It definitely needs a new handset and new labels so that phone calls can be made. In addition, a good scrubbing will get this metal case a sure shine. It will go from blight to bright!


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  • Published: 10 months ago on April 30, 2018
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  • Last Modified: May 1, 2018 @ 12:11 am
  • Filed Under: The Back Page

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  1. Always a treat to read your posts, Carl!

    • Carl Hughes says:

      Thanks! Was another fun story! Those payphones need to be cleaned up! Do you know any connections?

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