Alex Hughes — May 2018.. Right in the parking lot of Royal Liquor on North Santa Fe are two payphones. Both are in various states of condition. One is completely missing a phone while the other still has one!
The familiar blue shell of the outside is faded from the sun and scuffed up from constant scratches. Tags have been made on the inside throughout the case with spray paint, markers and sharp objects. Metal has been uncovered below. The payphone missing a phone still has the case and the “Phone” and “25 cent” label. The black plate on the back has holes where the wires once were.
Photos by Alex Hughes
The other phone is actually there! It is still in fair condition as it still has a dial tone. What was a surprise was the sign to the right that gave out free numbers! You could call and receive a free prayer or weather report! Had no idea that that was a real thing! I wonder if those numbers still work? On top of the phone, someone had left a cap with a marijuana leaf on it. Not surprising given the climate with marijuana becoming so popular. The labels were fading and the plastic label covers were becoming more and more delicate.
These phones need to have their cases scrubbed down to remove the remnants of graffiti and then repainted blue. A new phone needs to be installed along with new labels that are readable and updated for 2018.