Did you get to use them? 28 years ago, in July 1994, they were installed and the day-to-day situations they experienced are innumerable
SALTILLO, COAH.- If the public telephones of Main Square They would reveal what their speakers heard, they would tell love stories, novelties, gossip, tragedies and good news from the dozens of calls that the saltillenses they did during their lifetime.
Rows of up to six people formed behind each of the 12 phones that today grow old under the iconic arches from the Plaza de Armas, remember older adults who arrive to smoke on the cobblestone corridor every morning.
“It was very common to see people waiting to use a public telephone, for many it was the only way to communicate, there were those who even brought a stool to sit down to talk, the line was like that of a tortilla shop at lunchtime “expressed Raul Brioneswho for more than 10 years has reached smoke with your friends at the corner of the square.
It was in July 1994according to their serial plate, when they were installed as part of a renovation to the public phone booths with piggy bank and dial pad, as they required a card to work.
phones with digital screen and use of ladatel cards to make local and long distance calls became the most popular from the city until they were left in the shadows where they now remain.
“You bought a card for 30 or 50 pesos, almost all of them for 30 pesos and with that you could make about ten calls, you kept your card and used it as many times as you could, at first you didn’t charge for the time but later it was more money that was consumed and the same screen told you how much you had left”, expressed the older adults.
In addition, they remember, some time after the sale of telephone cards began, they had printed images to spread the Mexican arts and culturenot advertising, which made them collectible.
Phrases like “Praise the Lord” either “Thanks god” when they were heard good news, commented the sexagenarians, but there was no lack of ‘mother scratch’ to the same phone when hanging up the call, remember.
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Each phone has a signage that indicate the three steps to follow to use them, a vignette where pick up the phoneanother where insert the card and finally one that indicates dial the number of phone.
Its small screen, now much more opaque, indicates that the cost for a call in mexican territory has a cost of 3 pesos and that the marking 911 is freealthough most phones are vandalized and none of them work anymore not even to stop the emergency number.
The mobile device and the rise of social networks were “killing” Little by little these public services, which have always been very useful, ensured their former usersbecause with just a few coins or by recharging credit to a card, you could communicate from any phone on the street, “more if you did not want the phone to be identified”, they said.
“Here you could see people crying, smiling, yelling, even getting angry and hitting the phone when hanging up, young girls with enamored eyes blowing kisses and people complaining about how late some calls came back”merchants with more than 20 years around those phones recalled.
Which, they consider, are already part of the façade of the Plaza and a seal of its antiquityalthough today they are unusable and obsolete, just like the ladatel cards that are currently are offered on the Internet like a heirloom collectiondespite the fact that one day they represented the innovation of telephony.
In a tour of the streets of the city’s first square, VANGUARDIA verified that only a few phone booths are still in operationhowever, the vast majority are no longer even connected to the telephone line, they give the ringtone and others, even if the screen is on, do not connect when dialing a telephone number.
According to sources inside the company Telmex in Saltillo, in January of this year it began with a booth removal strategy in some southern states of the countrywhich will imminently reach Coahuilaalthough it is unknown when.
In the meantime, 28 years have passed since they were installed and although every day they grow old without being used or known by the new generationsThey hold fond memories for saltillenses older.