Memories from the Pay Phone Era

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – When was the last time you used a pay phone? For most of us a pay phone is a thing of the past, but if you look hard enough you can still find them. Twist reporter Deepak Saini found one on Bourbon Street and asked people to remember a time before cell phones.

In today’s world, nearly everyone is on a cell phone — even the homeless.

It’s no wonder no one wants to use one. And if you walk by one, would you even recognize it?

“Oh, that’s a payphone?” one passerby said.

“This is honestly the first payphone I’ve seen in years,” Holly Stapleton said. “I didn’t even know they really still existed.”

They still exist no matter how much you want to deny it.

“I don’t see any booths. Not here. I don’t think anywhere in the state you’ll find a payphone,” Richard Bazet said. Not knowing one was right behind him.

And remember when a call just cost a quarter?

Now double that!

“50, yep. It is 50! Oh, my gosh!” exclaimed Holly Stapleton.

But, of course, she would never actually touch it.

“I would never stick my hand in the coin return especially. Ewwwww!”

Can you blame her?

This particular payphone still says Bellsouth which was bought out by AT&T 8 years ago, so obviously the upkeep is lagging.

Richard Bazet said, “It’s very nasty. This is Bourbon Street.”

But what about the memories…

Ever have any passionate phone calls on the payphone?

“No, the boys I knew would call collect, and I would say no way,” Marjorie Blaine said.

But this couple from Houson, Texas had better luck.

“When we first started dating, he came over and your phone had died and you were trying to call me. So he went and found a payphone to call me and I never answered because I didn’t recognize the number,” Jessica remembered. “It was like 10 missed calls and you waited there for 2 hours for me to get there.”

Let’s face it. What’s new today will be old tomorrow.

“In 5 years they’ll probably be like, ‘What’s an iphone 5?’ Jessica joked.

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