Alas Poor Phone Book …I knew you well.

These days the poor phone book is getting smaller and smaller as more people abandon their landlines and take up cell phones. The Forks phone book has always been small. Not like those big city phone books, it was manageable and never got in the way. But, even the Forks phone book gets smaller each time it is published.

I have always loved phone books …they are like a little snapshot in time, actually a historical reference.

I have saved all my phone books since 1976, they actually come in handy when I am writing something dealing with the past, when I need to refer to the correct spelling of a name or owner of a business as well as when a business or person was living or active in the community.

I have had people bring me old phone books before …but on Friday I got the motherload, a full collection starting in 1954 through 1976, which is perfect since that is where my collection takes off!

Also, our old phone books usually had interesting covers, beach photos, timber industry, and recreation-related images. The 1963 phone book has a lovely watercolor painting. In the 1953 phone book …everyone had just 3 numbers …then the Frontier 4 numbers followed. People today will also never know the “joy” of a party line …or talking to the operator …or calling to see what time it was …

On Monday I had a person call to see if I had the phone number for an area business, but I didn’t …she had tried to Google it and nothing came up …hey I have an idea … a phone book would have helped out a lot!

Christi Baron