Old Rotary Phone Installed At Wyoming’s Oldest Soda Fountain
If I'm traveling across Wyoming, for business or pleasure, I'll make sure to stop in the tiny town of Chugwater, if it's along my route.
Wyoming's oldest soda fountain is still up and running. It's a perfect stop for breakfast, lunch, or one of their outstanding malts or shakes.
Recently, while having lunch there, I heard the sound of an old telephone ring.
The first ring did not get my attention. Many people have that old sound programmed in on their cell phones.
But the second ring had me thinking, 'HOLD ON! That sounds REAL!'
I looked up to see someone from the kitchen reach around the corner and pick up the receiver of an old rotary phone, hangin' on the wall.
'That old phone is new,' I thought. ' I was here last week and it wasn't there.'
The lady took a lunch order from the phone, using the long receiver cord to walk over to the register and find a pad and pen.
My memories took me back to when I was a kid and my parents got us a cord that long. I laughed, delighted in my new freedom, as I spoke to someone on the other end. "I can walk around the entire kitchen with this thing."
Back then we never imagined being as mobile as we are today.
The way the ladies working there were talking it sounded like the credit card machine could not process a sale while the phone was in use. They are probably dialing out on the same line.
Remember the old dial-up days? If someone was on the internet then the household phone was tied up.
I grabbed my more modern cell phone and sent the owner of the establishment a note.
Just in case you are wondering, yes, people can dial out too.
If we asked a much younger person to make a call on that thing, would they know how?
Old rotary phones operate differently than today's phones, so, they might be a little confused at first.
About a week ago the conversation of old rotary phones came up on my morning Wyoming talk show. I asked the listeners if rotary phones still worked.
If they do, can you still dial information?
What happens when you dial the operator?
One listener called in from near Chugwater saying that she tried for me and 411 (information) was an automated voice.
A listener In Thermopolis tried "0" for Operator and was also sent to an automated voice.
Someone in Casper said that 411 for Natrona County had a recording that said, "Service not available in this area."
I finished my burger and watched other customers stand by the phone to have their picture taken with it.
Great move Jill. if you need a business phone at Wyoming's oldest soda fountain, why not have fun with it?
There is one other restaurant in Wyoming that still uses an old rotary phone.
Theirs is a PAY PHONE!
Located in what could be called the more "industrial park" region of Casper, Wyoming is a cute little Italian restaurant named Bosco's that everyone kept telling me was probably the best Italian restaurant in town.
The other day I finally made my way there for lunch with a friend of mine. As we approached the place I was wondering out loud why such a nice restaurant would be here and not on the side of town where all the other nice restaurants were.
The answer is that they serve the average working Joe, with great food and fun. It's like going home to family for lunch.
The moment I entered I saw it from across the room. AN ACTUAL PAY PHONE!
I had to pick it up to see if I could hear a dial tone. IT HAD ONE!
While I was eating what was a wonderful meal, honestly the best Italian food I have had in Wyoming, and being treated by the staff like I was family, I heard that phone ring.
I turned around to see the waitress pick up the receiver and take a to-go order.
So the pay phone isn't just for looks! Not only is it functional, but it is the restaurant's work phone!
That is the coolest thing I have seen all month, and in my line of work, I see a lot of interesting things.
If you want to try their amazing food and experience the atmosphere, I'd say yes, go do it.
If you want to talk on that phone you'll have to ask. It is actually the company phone for the restaurant and not for public use.
But that doesn't mean they won't let you try it if you are nice.
When was the last time you dropped a quarter into an actual pay phone and made a call?
Before you go let's hear an old song that takes place on a pay phone.
THE HISTORY & REBIRTH OF CHUGWATER WYOMING
Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods
The Largest Gun, Saddle & Oddity Museum In Wyoming
Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods