The last payphone in New York City was removed earlier this week. In 1999, there were over 2,000,000 payphones in NYC alone, but only 200,000 in the entire country as of 2018.

It seems almost impossible for anyone my age or older to believe that payphones are completely a thing of the past. How many times in your life did you depend on a payphone whether for an emergency or just to talk to someone when you were more than ten feet away from your home? They would even have a handy-dandy phonebook right by it so you could look up the number you needed!

For a quarter, thirty-five cents, fifty cents (the price went up a few times during my lifetime), you could make a local call. Long distance would cost you some extra dough, or you could really test your call recipient's love for you by trying to make a 'collect' call which they would be billed for later.

Remember pagers? Nothing was more annoying than someone paging you, you hustle to a payphone to call them back, and its their pager number. An endless loop.

It's obvious why payphones are becoming extinct as cell phones have become as common to most people as a purse or wallet.

At least one place in St. Cloud still has a payphone: The Copper Lantern restaurant on Highway 10. However, when I went to make sure it was still there this morning I did test it and found it to not be functional anymore. The coin slot was even covered with tape.

Is this the only payphone left in St. Cloud? For that matter, is it the last payphone in Central Minnesota? I can't think of anywhere else I have seen one lately.

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