Payphones still exist.
Part of me is saddened by the demise of the pay phone. It is almost like losing the Polaroid, rest stops or the rotary phone. You know deep down inside that the usefulness is long dated, but you can’t help reminiscing on such everyday items. But as I discovered today… payphones are not quite gone. There is one still living that I observed on 30th and University. They blend conspicuously into the urban landscape, graffiti covered and soaked in germs. I know there must be more than just the one, as this dedicated blog tracks their endangered existence.
A recent interview on KPBS These Days, Victor Mollo, President of the San Diego Payphone Owners Association, shares the reasons for the decline and individuals’ perspectives on payphones. He shares about mandates requiring public payphones to be maintained in certain locations such as hospitals and tow yards.
As much as I will miss the concept of the payphone… I really can’t say that I would ever want to use one again. I would rather ask to borrow a phone in the case of an emergency, because the grubby hands of one or two people is much more tolerable than the filthy hands and spit of many.