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Got Change?

April 22, 2016

Susan Marg

I’m so glad that my post on pay phones stirred up some old memories. Here’s a comment, another post, really, from my friend Brian G. Be sure to check out his links, especially the YouTube video on the last visitors to the Mojave phone booth. Once located off the beaten track and miles from any building, Pacific Bell removed it in 2000.

Photo by: Thomas

Photo by: Thomas

Hello, Susan:

When I was a junior and senior in HS, I worked at Al’s French Fries in Essex Junction, Vermont. It was started by Al and Genevieve Rusterholz immediately after WWII. They converted the lower part of their house into a burger joint. Until McDonald’s came to town in the late 60s, they were the only local fast food place outside of Burlington.

Well, we had a phone booth nearby – the type that had the nickel, dime, and quarter coin slots on top. Earlier I learned from a friend that you could get a dime call for a penny dropped in the nickel slot. Immediately after dropping the penny, the trick was to slam the coin return plunger with the palm of your hand. Sometimes it took 3 or 4 tries to get the familiar “Ding-Ding,” but it worked!

That came in handy one night after I closed at 10:00 pm and cashed up. Unfortunately my Dad had fallen asleep and neglected to pick me up and it was now midnight. As I walked across the RR tracks, I found a penny. Shortly thereafter, I made that call and the rest is history.

Thanks for the memory! For a western twist, check out:

Brian G.

PS – The original Coke tabs were a bang-up substitute for dimes in the parking meters. The raw inventory was everywhere. Simply separate the ring from the tab, quick file the corners, and you were good to go for hours and hours…

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