Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts — The Empty Booth

The Empty Booth, 2 of 3
(“The Empty Booth, 2 of 3”, Rob Ross)

When is a phone booth not a phone booth?

Clan Ross began the return journey last night, and today we are aiming to make it to Spokane, WA for lunch before continuing on to Missoula, MT. If I were to judge all of the gas stations
In rural Oregon by the handful I’ve seen, I’d say they were an odd contrast: at first glance, they’re completely ordinary. However, they are full service and someone else is paid to pump your gas for you. At first I thought this was due to the old but well-maintained pumps; however, at this last station (the Cross Roads Truck Stop in Umatilla, OR) they had nice, newer pumps with credit card readers.

It felt a little weird handing my credit card to another guy just to swipe it.

As I headed in to find some beverages for the next leg, I found a different treasured throwback standing next to the entrance: a well-maintained 1980’s pay phone booth.


If I were to see one of these anywhere else, I could almost guarantee it would either be decorated with marker graffiti or it would have long since been removed from the face of human civilization; this piece, in comparison, was museum-grade. I had to have a picture, but I didn’t want to hang around with a reputation for looking like a tourist so I decided to get it on the way out.

When I came out, I got a different view and was struck by the fact that the booth was empty — literally devoid of any inhabitant.

The Empty Booth, 3 of 3
(“The Empty Booth, 3 of 3”, Rob Ross)

The phone booth is clean and intact, but there’s neither phone nor directory — a contrast between the old and new paradigms, a reminder that the age of the pay phone has passed, leaving the booth as a curious reminder of younger days. It’s a collectible to be admired, not used.

What happened to the phone and directory in this booth — did they just fade away one day when no one was looking?

The funny thing is, I tend to forget about these things until I see them again for the first time in years; like an acquaintance who quietly disappeared long ago, I think, ‘oh yeah — whatever happened to that?’

This week’s Daily Post photo challenge is Contrasts.


    • We’ve been enjoying the time together for sure; one thing I’m learning about these 2 year-olds is that they have a way of changing plans . . . For example, we never made it to Astoria the other day!

  1. Lovely images and ideas about what remains to be seen, if we take the time to notice – and stop – even if not wanting to appear “touristy” 😉

    Safe journey back!

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