Mojave Phone Booth (cont’d)

(Continued from previous post,

By Susan Chandler Kelley
Copyright 2009;
do not reprint without permission

“There erupted a “strangely poetic business about this telephone booth which was still functioning. I can’t remember what the exact point of it was, but it became a kind of talismanic object.” [J. G. Ballard: Conversations (RE/Search Publications), p. 41. From Deuce of Clubs’ Original Mojave Phone Booth Website.]

This lonesome phone booth fascinated ‘Deuce of Clubs (DOC),’ who began researching it. He discovered the phone still worked and located a couple of people who still lived in the area. From them he learned it was originally set up to service those who worked at nearby Cima Mine and the few local residents. After the mine closed, the phone stayed on. Locals still used the phone occasionally. They explained it had become ‘phone etiquette’ that anyone passing by who heard the phone ringing should answer.

DOC created a Mojave Phone Booth Website. As numerous Netizens learned of the Website, people from far-flung locales called the booth to see who would answer. A fervent fan of Burning Man, DOC often coincided Burning Man trips with visits to the phone booth. He brought friends to experience the booth; they took pictures of each other sending and receiving calls there. Many visitors to his Website did the same. DOC documented his and others’ phone booth visits on his site, as well as the many emails from distant devotees of the booth.

The legend of The Mojave Phone Booth vaulted this icon of ethereal solitude into cult status. Rumors claimed the paranormal TV series The X-Files proffered an ‘insider-joke’ nod to this Internet phenomenon in a scene of Dana Scully calling from a phone booth all alone in a desert. DOC was writing a book about the phone booth. The booth gained a MySpace page, no less. It even ‘starred’ in a movie, Mojave Phone Booth, now available on DVD.

Ironically, The Mojave Phone Booth‘s fame sealed its doom. Since it sat on land overseen by the National Park Service, the influx of so many visiting the cult icon disturbed the NPS. Pacific Bell removed the phone booth. DOC believed this move occurred at the behest of the NPS.

Visitors to The Mojave Booth Website often ask DOC if he has ever discovered another lonely desert phone booth. He replied, “… no. seeing what happened the first time, if i [sic] did, i [sic] would keep it VERY QUIET.” Yet the booth lives still, on the Web and in the minds of those who knew of it before its untimely demise.

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3 Responses to “Mojave Phone Booth (cont’d)”

  1. […] MilkyWayfarer Articles on Interesting Unusual Sites « Mojave Phone Booth (cont’d) […]

  2. I remember reading about the Mojave Phone Booth several years ago. I wound up on the site after site-hopping for a coupla hours. Then I couldn’t remember where I found it so I couldn’t revisit. Thanks! I also didn’t know there was a movie or a book about it. Interesting!

    • Thanks again, CH, & again, you’re welcome for the info. DOC has been working on the book for a few months now. I’ve not seen anything on his site yet about completion but I’d like to read it whenever he does finish.

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