Do you remember the rotary dial phone? Or, I can do you one better than that! When I was a kid living out on the farm in Iowa, we had one of those kind of phones that hung on the wall and you would turn the crank to call “Central”. Then you’d tell them who you wanted to talk with and they would connect you by plugging a wire in from a jack that represented your phone to a jack that represented someone else’s phone. Archaic, but it worked (and you could even talk to Central if they weren’t too busy!)
There are lots of things that have come and gone during my lifetime: black and white TV, “rabbit ears”, 8-track tapes, Studebakers, Edsels, Nash Ramblers, bobby sox, poodle skirts and for a while at least (until they were resurrected!!!), Twinkies!
Another thing that you no longer find around in as much profusion as once was the case is phone booths. Remember when you could pull into any gas station or shopping area and there’d be phone booths where you could make a local call for a dime? And there was always a big, fat phone book there, too, so you could look up the phone number or address? Now, you can hardly find one! And if you do, it’s a safe bet that there’s no phone and no phone book inside! Just like in today’s photo.
This phone booth is here at the RV park where we are staying. There’s no phone. There’s no phone book. But it’s still here. Why? Because they wanted to leave my changing room intact for when the world needs…SUPERMAN! And I’m grateful…otherwise, I’d have to change out in the open!!!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1934, Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was shot by FBI agents in a cornfield in East Liverpool, Ohio. Floyd, who had been a hotly pursued fugitive for four years, used his last breath to deny his involvement in the infamous Kansas City Massacre, in which four officers were shot to death at a train station. He died shortly thereafter.
Charles Floyd grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. When it became impossible to operate a small farm in the drought conditions of the late 1920s, Floyd tried his hand at bank robbery. He soon found himself in a Missouri prison for robbing a St. Louis payroll delivery. After being paroled in 1929, he learned that Jim Mills had shot his father to death. Since Mills, who had been acquitted of the charges, was never heard from or seen again, Floyd was believed to have killed him.
Moving on to Kansas City, Floyd got mixed up with the city’s criminal community. A prostitute gave Floyd the nickname “Pretty Boy,” which he hated. Along with a couple of friends he had met in prison, he robbed banks in Missouri and Ohio, but was eventually caught in Ohio and sentenced to 12-15 years. On the way to prison, Floyd kicked out a window and jumped from the speeding train. He made it to Toledo, where he hooked up with Bill “The Killer” Miller.
The two went on a crime spree across several states until Miller was killed in a spectacular firefight in Bowling Green, Ohio, in 1931. Once he was back in Kansas City, Floyd killed a federal agent during a raid and became a nationally known criminal figure. This time he escaped to the backwoods of Oklahoma. The locals there, reeling from the Depression, were not about to turn in an Oklahoma native for robbing banks. Floyd became a Robin Hood-type figure, staying one step ahead of the law. Even the Joads, characters in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, spoke well of Floyd.
However, not everyone was so enamored with “Pretty Boy.” Oklahoma’s governor put out a $6,000 bounty on his head. On June 17, 1933, when law enforcement officials were ambushed by a machine-gun attack in a Kansas City train station while transporting criminal Frank Nash to prison, Floyd’s notoriety grew even more. Although it was not clear whether or not Floyd was responsible, both the FBI and the nation’s press pegged the crime on him nevertheless. Subsequently, pressure was stepped up to capture the illustrious fugitive, and the FBI finally got their man in October 1934.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Burying coffins also means that 90,272 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, and over 30 million feet of hard wood covered in toxic laminates are also buried per year. However, a British company called “Ecopod” offers coffins made from 100% recycled paper.