The Loneliest Phone on Earth
Sometime after WWII Pacific Bell installed a phone booth in Baker, CA for nearby miners to use.
Miles from the nearest town, the old phone booth stood at the junction of two dirt roads. Its windows were shot out; the overhead light was gone. Yet the phone lines on the endless rows of poles still popped and clicked in anticipation – just as they’d been doing for nearly 30 years. Finally, in 1997, it rang.
A guy named Deuce had read about the booth and called the number … and continued to call until a desert dweller named Lorene answered. Deuce wrote about it on his website and word spread through cyberspace.
Someone else called. Then another person, and another – just to see if someone would answer. And quite often someone did. Only accessible by four wheel drive, the lonely phone booth soon became a destination. Travelers drove for hours just to answer the phone. One Texas man camped there for 32 days … and answered more than 500 calls.
Someone posted a call log in the booth to record where people were calling from: as close as Los Angeles and as far away as New Zealand and Kosovo. Why’d they call? Some liked the idea of two people who’ve never met – and probably never will – talking to each other. Just sending a call out into the Great Void and having someone answer was reward enough for most.
Unfortunately, in 2000 the National Park Service and Pacific Bell tore down the famous Mojave phone booth. Reason? It was getting too many calls.
Visit: The Mojave Phone Booth website.
Seg-way… Call Me Al (updated video)