Glenn Beck said “Google the Mojave Phone Booth to learn more”…so I did

In the prologue to the thriller The Overton Window, a character makes a desperate phone call from a legendary phone booth.

In the afterward of the book, Glenn Beck (need we mention he is the author?) challenges readers to “google the Mojave Phone Booth to learn more”. So I did.

The Mojave Phone Booth was removed in 2007 by Pacific Bell, and its oft-jingled phone number was permanently retired.

Location – the intersection of two desolate desert-dirt roads in what is now the  Mojave National Preserve in California . A magneto phone was originally installed at this site in the 1960s after the state government had mandated services for isolated residents – and there were cinder miners living in this area.  The technology was updated over the years; in its final life it was adorned with a touch tone pay phone and a booth big enough for Superman to do his thing.  This semi-abandoned outpost was rarely used over the next few decades.  Move ahead to 1997 – when on a whim,  a Los Angeles man visited the booth after spotting an unexpected telephone icon on a map. He recorded the phone number and posted it in a letter about his adventure to some obscure publication.  The Wikipedia entry on the Mojave Phone Booth states:

[A] computer entrepreneur, read the letter and started the first of several websites devoted to the Mojave telephone booth. Soon, fans called the booth attempting to get a reply, and a few took trips to the booth to answer, often camping out at the site. Several callers kept recordings of their conversations. Over time, the booth became covered in graffiti, as many travelers would leave messages on it.

Those standing guard at the Mojave Phone Booth were rewarded by random conversations with voices from all over the world.  A 2006 movie (aptly named  Mojave Phone Booth ) capitalized on its mystique.  Eventually, it was mandated that the phone booth be removed – officially because of the environmental impact created by those that made the pilgrimage.  Unofficially…well, who knows? Now we are left with Twitter to fill the void.

P.S. If you want to learn more about it…just google it!

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