Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mystery Phone


Did you ever pass by something dozens of times, or hundreds or even thousands of times without noticing it? Then once you finally notice it, you wondered how you ever missed seeing it before, and you instantly have many questions about this new found mystery? For me, noticing this telephone on a pole on Highland Avenue across from Bretton Road was one of those moments. I must have driven by it thousands of times without spotting it. I don't normally walk past this spot, but recently I did, and that is when I saw it. It's a reddish color, which leads me to wonder if it was set up for some kind of emergency call or response purpose. I'd like to be a good investigative reporter and get the scoop on this mysterious telephone and report all about it here. In reality, that's not going to happen. Spending time figuring this out is just not high on my priority list of things to spend my time on. In reality its not on my priority list at all. Am I the only person who is really interested in this mystery phone? If any EYE readers know anything about this, or have any interesting theories about this, or have seen such phones in other parts of town, please submit a comment. Thanks!

12 comments:

Madam Nirvana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madam Nirvana said...

That would be "Ye Olde Town Emergency Phone". It was placed in case the Soviets ever launched an attack on Middletown during the Cold War. It replaced the Paul Revere phone that was taken down. It's up high like that so only the tallest, typically found to be the most brave citizens can access it. Luckily,the pay phone feature was removed. If I am wrong, do I at least win a prize for most creative response?

Anonymous said...

Wow- a blast from the past. This is a remnant of a mid-1980's Wesleyan art major's senior thesis presentation. Her mod household phones mounted on rough, industrial telephone poles were meant to evoke a sense of dislocation among viewers - it was about the contrast between the public face of the phone network (the pole) with the intimacy of the private phone conversation. Also, it was a commentary on our economic system, and how the apparently accessible can be arbitrarily out of reach, i.e. the contrast between the height of the phone (the elite) with the ubiquity of phone service (everyman). Each block surrounding campus had different color phones - Loveland had brown, High Street had burgundy-red, Church Street was harvest gold and Mt. Vernon had avocado green.

Or...if that isn't it....maybe they were just a way for linemen to call central dispatch before the age of cell phones?

Anonymous said...

It's clearly a telephone pole.

Anonymous said...

this is an updated 1970's phone for Oliver to use...in reality, Middletown was the filming location for 'Green Acres'...ever notice how the crazies for that show are all wandering around main st now?

Elizabeth Bobrick said...

In response to Anon 11:38 -- yes, it was an art project, but it's meant to resemble a cat who got up the pole but was afraid to either climb higher or climb down. Haven't we all been there? One of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" things that had unfortunate consequences? Stop me before I reminisce about my first marriage...

Anonymous said...

@anon7:02
No, I don't think so.
A telephone poll is when they call you up to ask you inane questions.

Barry said...

The phone does not appear to be a weatherproof phone, but a Trimline. I doubt it was put there for a functional purpose.

Jane Harris said...

Telephone company linemen always carried "butt sets" which have clips to connect directly into the lines. Weather-proof phones are encased in boxes. This looks decorative, or whimsical, definitely not functional.

Anonymous said...

Clearly it's to call Batman or since it's red, must be Robin.

Anonymous said...

I have a similar phone mounted on my fireplace. It is connected only to the ether and only takes "Complaints".

Anonymous said...

what a funny thing, i had a good laugh today; and loved the comment about green acres and oliver.we all need to laugh a little everyday.