Thursday, January 04, 2007


Meek looking Clark Kent used to duck into a nearby phone booth at a moment's notice and quickly strip off his suit, tie, and dress shirt, revealing his caped Superman costume underneath. Even as a little kid I used to wonder what he did with his clothes while he was off fighting crime and recuing damsels in distress. Nowadays, for sure, somebody would steal his suits!

Phone booths were everyplace! I guess I date back to nickle days but I really can't remember them being less than a dime. I do remember that in the late 1960's, when I was working for The North Dade Journal, there was a big stink when Bell South upped the price to twenty-five cents. They finally relented and agreed to keep it at ten cents at the phone booths near the schools.

At some point the booths were replaced by weatherproof pay phones on posts, out in the open. I guess it solved the problem of the homeless (we used to call them bums) sleepng in them, or using them as toilets, but it's no fun standing in the rain while making a phone call. Then cell phones came along. Even poor people today can probably find a plan they can afford, when you consider what it cost to make only four or five calls a day in a pay phone.

This photo was shot outside the North Miami Post Office. I don't know if somebody stole the phone (Quick! Where's Superman when you really need him?) or the phone company just decided that it was a money loser and removed it. I guess the post will be gone soon too. End of an era!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recall when a call used to cost a nickel? I do, and you're a hell of a lot older than pretty me.

Johnny Splash

11:37 PM  
Blogger Al Kaplan said...

I used to use my two-way wrist radio back then. Remember those?

11:58 PM  

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