This picture from the corner of 10th & Willow in Hoboken, gives some interesting perspective.
Remember the pay phone?
We used to run to the corner, or duck into bars or shops to jam coins into that slot—dimes, then quarters, then dimes AND quarters—just to make a quick phone call. And it had to be quick, because once that coin dropped, you were on a timer. There was nothing worse than scrambling for change mid-sentence as the soulless voice implored you to “please deposit twenty-five cents” if you wanted to finish your conversation.
Now we text, IM, snapchat, and whatever else is on the horizon. In fact, the entire telecommunications industry was turned on its ear with the divestiture of AT&T, and “Ma Bell,” as it came to be known, was put to rest.
The payphone on the corner—once a staple of American life—is gone… yet the music of Frank Sinatra still remains.
The Hoboken Historical Museum (1301 Hudson Street) continues its exhibit dedicated to Frank Sinatra: the Man, the Voice and the Fans, as the world prepares to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of a man who, in the end, turned out to be “bigger than Ma Bell.”
Originally written by Tony Hatch for British songbird Petula Clark, here’s Frank Sinatra letting you know you can “Call Me“—off his phenomenal 1966 album, Strangers in the Night.