Yes, these still exist.
In this day and age when everyone has a cell phone — including kids — the payphone is dying part of our culture. Recently, I got into a discussion about payphones with one of my Twitter friends, @Jen4Web. I started photographing the real ones I saw. I knew there was a good one at the Walla Walla Post Office, where I’d be going in a few days, and told her about it. On Wednesday, I snapped a shot with my BlackBerry and put it on TwitPic.
That got @StuartOswald interested. Apparently, he’s involved with a Web site called Payphone Org UK that shares photos of payphones. He asked for the phone number of the one I photographed. I promised to get it and a better shot. That’s what this post is all about.
I went back to the Post Office to take a few better photos of the phone booth and get its phone number: (509) 525 – 9958. I also took a shot of the post office from the outside. You can see the best of these photos here.
The phone booth you see here is one like I remember from when I was a kid. It’s a wooden booth with a sliding panel door, light, and fan. There’s a shelf under the phone and a shelf to sit on. There’s even a phone book. The only thing different is the phone — this one is modern; when I was a kid, phone booths like this still had dial phones.
The phone booth is in the outer lobby, adjacent to the post office boxes in the Main Post Office on 2nd Street in Walla Walla, WA. Don’t let the name of the town fool you — Walla Walla is a great little town with a vibrant Main Street (actually named Main Street). There are shops and restaurants, and enough wine tasting that you don’t need to get into your car and drive. The town is surrounded by vineyards and wheat fields. It’s located in southeastern Washington state, south of the picturesque Palouse area and north of Pendleton of blanket fame.
If you’re ever in Walla Walla, stop by and visit this piece of history. Tell you kids about it.