Mojave Phone Booth
It’s amazing how stories can become more and more interesting the deeper you delve into them. When we read about the Mojave Phone Booth, a solitary phone booth located way out in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve, we had no idea what had happened to it. It was 15 miles from the nearest interstate and miles from any inhabitants. It had been placed there sometime around 1960, to service two local mines. Over the years, with the mines growing quieter, the phone booth had become more and more isolated.
In 1997, Godfrey Daniels stumbled across it, wrote down its number: 760-733-9969, and started calling it obsessively from his home in Arizona. After about a month, a woman called Lorene answered. She ran a local cinder mine and had come to make a call. From then on, the booth became almost legendary. People started to call from as far afield as Germany and Italy.
It soon became something of a cult tourist attraction, with people traveling way off the beaten track to see it, and wait for incoming calls to answer. One man spent a month there and answered more than 500 calls from someone called ‘Sergeant Zeno from the Pentagon’.
Then in May, 2000, Pacific Bell and the National Park Service stomped all over the fun by removing the booth. Apparently this was to stop the destruction caused by numerous visitors to the site, but fans of the booth claim they were just being killjoys. It’s unclear what remains of the booth or where it went, but a movie inspired by it was made in 2006. Curiouser and curiouser. RM