When was the last time you saw a telephone booth?
On my desk is a remembrance of a time before cell phones and the Internet, of when there was a phone booth on just about ever corner in town.
The remembrances are in a phone book form a long time ago, 1951. The hard cover and the attached chain tells me somebody needed a phone book and simply took one that was available.
The book is small, the cover a dirty, fading black with the legend, in part:.
As in …
Operator, get me Adams-McCargo at 1351
A good guess here is I just lost the 40 and under crowd, most 40 and over will stay with me, many with Adams-McCargo Chevrolets in their past.
I am one of them.
MY FIRST new car was a 1965 Chevy Supersport. It had bucket seats, white exterior, vinyl interior, a tachometer, and a 396 engine. That sucker would burn rubber for a half block.
It was also a time when you bought your groceries from small, locally-owned grocery stores instead of Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie, and Piggly-Wiggly. The ’51 phone book lists no fewer than 136 grocery stores in Calhoun County and many of those offered “free home delivery.”
You called in your order to say Dear’s Noble Street Curb Market, phone number 4138, and your groceries would be at your back door shortly.
Claude Dear Jr., a future mayor of Anniston, would see to that.
Turning pages …
— The phone number for Anniston Memorial Hospital was 2800. It would be as few years before it got a new name (Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center) and new phone number (256-235-5121).
— Pinson’s Hotel, fireproof-reasonable rates … for comfort, call 12.
TELEPH–Loans, Call 2337 … Financial help is always as near as your telephone … and as confidential as a secret.
— If you were calling The Anniston Star in 1951, the phone number was 1536 and on W. 11th, across from the courthouse. You won’t believe this, but that was a few years before I came along.
— Elmer’s Place, 831 South Noble … for dining and dancing, phone 9233 … Tuesday was the big night. That’s when South Anniston wives met North Anniston husbands … other nights were “family” … and darn good.
— Central Photo Service, 1708 Wilmer, Call 4494 … Children’s Portraits Never Grow Up.
— Counts Radio Service … Call “Pop” for pick-up and delivery … Call 4381
— Jake’s Steak House … chicken, steaks, chops . . . 409 Noble, Telephone 9527 … for many years, best place in this town to eat.
— Road Service … Invite us to your next blowout … Texaco Service Center, 415 Noble, Call 9344.
— Anniston Shoe Hospital, Tel. 104 … Rebuilt Like New With Invisible Half Soles … Shoes Dyed Any Color. 1209 Noble.
— Bama Drive-In … Shows nightly, Rain or Moon … Call 120 … and yeah, in my tender years, I spent a few nights out there … a courtin’.
And there was the Automobile Class of ’51. We had dealers for Plymouth, Nash, Hudson, Packard, Studebaker, Mercury, and Oldsmobile. No more.
One final note.
Inside the front cover, someone had written three — just three — names. One was that of William E. Mintz, a distant relative of the blonde.
Have a good day …
George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5682 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org