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Current Mojave Mail | Mojave Mail Archive #2 | Non-Mojave Mail

Mojave Mail Archive #1

From: Chris
Subject: Phonebooth??
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999

I'm a DJ for a military radio station in Belgium. I stumbled across a bit of prep about your phonebooth in the Mojave. It was a bit intriguing to me, so I dug around a bit on the Net, and found your website.

I've got to say that it was one of the coolest reads I've had on the Net for some time. When are you going back to the booth? We've got to give you a call there! If I sent you one of our radio logos, could you take a picture of it in the booth and send it to us? If so, what's the best way to get it to you?

We're a military station, so it's not about money or anything like that. It just sounds so random, that I'd love to have that picture and the story behind it to put up in the station!

Maybe we could do an on-air call the next time you go out that way....

Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
From: cliff

we're coming to the booth. bank on it. my school life has become so brutal and dismal that sitting in the mojave desert waiting for a random phone call seems like the circus coming to town. i'll bring plenty to drink. and some water. fireworks?

this could be an important pilot mission for phoneboothY2K. i'd like to see what we'd have to do, to attract the attention of law enforcement types.

this morning, a postcard arrived...
From: John P. Carrington
Date: 27 February 1999

Why would any sane person make a postcard featuring the Mojave Phone Booth?

Perhaps it is not really a phone booth.

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999
From: Olivia
Subject: Still funny after all these years . . .

Just thought I'd tell you-- I was rereading some of the MOJO stuff, and it's even funnier every time I read it. I just sit here laughing out loud and looking exceptionally foolish. Occasionally someone asks what I'm laughing about, and then THEY get to experience the joy of Deuceness.

Constantly striving to increase Wagner World Domination,

From: cBoozer
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999
Subject: thanks!

Deuce, Thanks for taking the time to be on the radio with me Tues. 2/23 WSSS-Fm. So far the FCC has yet to contact me, so I guess everything is ok. Really, good call and thanks again!

From: JaGaBaYa
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999

What my gf, fuzzyelfone, forgot to mention about our last outing to the booth was that I decided to contribute to the "trinket fund" of the booth. I took a couple of old locks I had in my car (one key and one combination) and placed them on the phone and the phone book, thus insuring the saftey of the phone booth for many future generations.

Btw... If anyone manages to figure out the combination to the padlock I'd love to hear from ya.

The combo lock is on the phone cord and the key lock is on the phone book cord.

I could only find one shoe lying about, but someone had erected a small circle of white stones with some cow dung at the center. Praying to the cow chip god no doubt.

today i did another radio interview (WSSS in charlotte, north carolina) and i when the interviewer asked whether people ever got a response when they called the booth, i mentioned a few examples, including the new zealand woman's call you took

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999
From: fuzzyelfone

Hello there Mr. Deuce.

I live in Louisiana,
hey, have u ever been to wagner's meat?
and my boyfriend is in California. He found your site about the pay phone, and so when I went for my recent visit, I begged him to take me. Too cool. Just wanted to share. Keep up the good work (sorry about the cliche')

Here's a pic of me on the phone booth.

xlnt photo! and i'm glad to see the plaque is still there. was the drawing still taped to the inside of the booth?

i'm going to be adding reader photos of the site -- may i add the one you sent?

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999
From: fuzzyelfone

My calling you "Mr." Deuce is sorta my term of endearment. Yes, the drawing was still there. I got a pic of that too. Please feel free to include my photo, I'd be honored. I'll see if the boyfriend will let me send one of him as well.

While we were there, the phone rang! Most exciting. It was a girl in New Zealand who had been calling for 3 days after reading about it in a local newspaper. Thought you'd find that neat.

to the unknown new zealander: when you read this, send me an e-mail, ok? & i'd love to see the newspaper article you read

From: Carol
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 1999

Was out in the Mojave National Preserve, found the isolated call box with your silver plaque on it and this web address - tell me more about when and why you were there, what is with the piece of paper with digrams on it? Just curious! Hope you e-mail me back with some details!

From: drlead
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999

I'd like to know if you could send me the directions for the Mojave Phone Booth... I don't know yet when I'm going. But I definiteley want to go check it out... I loooove the desert, and when I heard that there was a phone booth in the middle of it I had to know where it was. It took me a while to find your site, but you've definiteley made me happy...

From: Maheelah
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999

certainly an interesting story you friend suggested i read it because he thought i might enjoy the lunacy of the whole thing...however, the lunacy of the whole story is that it makes me want to go visit your strange could only imagine what the shot out windows look like (is there glass still on the ground?) might say "who cares?!", but obviously you do...i vow to find this booth someday and i hope to hear it ring while i'm there...i know who it'll be if it to you soon

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999
From: Troy Paiva
Subject: Lost America

A buddy of mine sent me to your telephony story which I found highly amusing. I hang out in the desert alot and occasionally do night photography in and around Cima. I know that phone. . . It's a pretty sad and forlorn thing.

What's your number, I'll call you from it next time I'm out there if that'll make your day.

Drop by my night photography website, it's full of abandoned spooky weird places out in the desert. You'll love it.

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999
From: Edward J. Pelegrino
Subject: Site du Jour of the Day (990111)

Thank you for responding to my message. Hello? --A Pointless Exercise in Telephony is a wonderful adventure and Whip It! brought back memories of my Mom's 1964 Pontiac Catalina. Sure would be nice to have that car restored to its original glory today. Your tale reminded me also about how as kids we used to pick up a pay phone while standing outside in the bitterly cold Michigan winter and call directory assistance in places like Hawaii, Florida and Puerto Rico. Back in the days when (area code) 555-1212 would get you a free call to some unsuspecting operator in a warm place. We'd work a reaction out of them by asking about the weather and then tell her about how it was ten degrees and like that. Ah, youth.

I'm trying to find the number for the dolphin pool at Sea World in Orlando. There is a phone booth right next to a touch tank and if you dial the number posted on the phone it overrides the charge of the call and connects to a hydrophone in the tank. I would imagine that all of the Sea Worlds have a similar setup, I'll let you know if I turn up the piece of paper I wrote it on. Might be a cool addition to your pages.

Site du Jour of the Day has about 450 subscribers and based on research and results of other episodes, you should see approximately 200-300 visits because of the mention. A few readers wrote to me about the episode featuring Hello? --A Pointless Exercise in Telephony, they all loved it. Additional visits can also be expected from the Archive site where the episode is posted.

Thanks for being a part of Site du Jour of the Day.

From: Neil K.
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999
Subject: Re: Quest for the Booth

Well, I made it out to the booth yesterday afternoon. Thanks for your directions and so on. Nice plaque you have. Sadly, the phone was dead - no dialtone - so I couldn't crack open the handset and plug in my laptop. Oh well. I should have some photos up eventually.

From: John Carrington
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 19:24:04 -0500


I got a scanner for xmas.....what better use can there be?

couldn't agree more, john. glad to see my honorary plaque is still in place.

Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999
From: Neil K. Guy
Subject: Quest for the Booth

Say. You don't know me, although I am one of the people who phoned the Mojave Phone Booth prior to Burning Man. (I went on to Burning Man myself, though I didn't end up meeting you lot there)

Anyway. I'm going to be in the Mojave Preserve on the weekend, if all goes well. And it occurs to me that I'd be truly remiss in not checking out the Phone Booth.

Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998
From: Tricia Jones
Subject: personal phone booth subsidy scheme

Maybe you could buy a phone booth for the Lunch Lady, and use the profits from *that* to pay for your Mojave one. If you could get a percentage of all the calls she receives, you'd pay for that phone booth in no time!

Oh wait, I just realized something. You need a phone that people call out of, not call to. No wonder no one else has suggested this hare-brained scheme...


Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998
From: Kent Duryee
Subject: Phone Booths

Mr. Deuce;

I've always wanted to address a letter to "Mr. Deuce" and ask what the hell his wife was doing in that phuquing penthouse in New York while he was working on the farm, but you're just going to have to take his place. I hope you can fill Arthur's shoes, but then that opens up a whole new can of worms that I just don't want to dig into. "Fresh air!"(two beats) "Times Sqvare!"...(sic)

Your story of the phone booth in the Mojave is fascinating. What is it about phone booths in the middle of nowhere that grips us so? I have the ultimate, penultimate experience, however, of having made actual phone calls from the World's Hottest Phone Booth, which is only about 100 miles northeast across the Mojave from the one that you so surrepetitiously found on a cheater, you.

This particular phone booth occupies the southeast corner of the post office at Darwin, California, just west of the bustling metro area of Panamint Springs in the new Death Valley. You're right in thinking that this is not precisely in the middle of nowhere, but it's pretty damned close. Suburban sprawl is the bane of the 21st century, after all.

In the summer, the sun beats down mercilessly on the top of this phone booth, making it both uninhabitable and unusable, but at the same time, sort of a challenge. I found information on this phone booth at a web site that sadly is no longer functional, but when it was up, it was one of the funniest sites on the web. Yours has eclipsed it.

I entered the inferno on Sunday, July 12, 1998 at about 1:30 PM, and can personally attest to the fact that this *is* the Hottest Phone Booth in the World. To fully appreciate the magnitude of the heat, one has to close the door. The word "sauna" is too vague to begin to describe the heat. In order to place a call, I had to insulate my finger with the only thing available at the time, a pencil with a rubber eraser on top. The eraser melted at the touch of the keys, and left little "rubber spots"...5551212, drip, drip...

The outside temp was near 130. Inside, due to greenhouse gasses and the fact that someone had humorlessly left a urinal cookie after they had indeed urinated, the temperature was at least 150 degrees and smelled of wintergreen and urine. You had it light, my friend, you and Wagner. Ride of the Valkyries, indeed!

To put it shortly, you visited perhaps one of the more remote phone booths in the Mojave, but you have yet to visit the *hottest* and most miserable. I put it to you as a challenge; go to Darwin, and call me on any day in July around noon, and tell me about phone booths. Then and only then will you have earned your ones at that.

Yours in phone booths,

PS: How was it that I was stranded for *5* days in Needles while they ordered a new water pump, and you got off light with only three?? (Add this to the list 'o rules: Never buy a night's worth of beer at the bar for mechanics in Needles thinking that it will get you out of town quickly).

i believe i shall accept your challenge. (you do not realize that i grew up in the middle of the Sonoran desert)

Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998
From: Adrian Roberts
Subject: How do I get to The Phone Booth?


Hey, it's Adrian Roberts here. You know, Piss Clear, Burning Man, yadda yadda, whatever. Anyway, I'm e-mailing you with a DESPERATE PLEA!

You see, tomorrow--Tuesday--I'm leaving to go on a six-day roadtrip to the Mojave Desert with my friend and bandmate, Swirly Rat Jr. And where do you think our first stop is? (Well, okay, actually our SECOND stop. Our first stop is Buffalo Bill's Casino in Nevada, to ride the Desperado roller coaster.) That's right! We're going to The Phone Booth.

Only one problem. Deuce, YOU TOOK THE DIRECTIONS TO THE PHONE BOOTH DOWN OFF YOUR WEB SITE!!! Aaaaiggh! Help! Our trip is ruined!

Okay, so I have a PRETTY GOOD idea where The Phone Booth is, but I'd really rather not be driving all over the damn Mojave looking for it. Can one you PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE send me directions ASAP!

I'm leaving at 11 am on Tuesday morning. So if I don't hear from one of you before that, I'm fucked, er, I'm on my own. Hoping to hear... thank you SOOOO much!

Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998
From: Adrian Roberts
Subject: Re: How do I get to The Phone Booth?


I didn't get your e-mail until tonight--Monday night--but you were right. We found The Phone Booth with no problem. Although when we first started heading out there, I was a LITTLE worried. "Twelve miles off the interstate" SOUNDS a lot closer to civilization than it actually is!

yeah, especially when it takes so long to get there. it takes a LONG time to get there in whip it!
We really felt like we were literally were in The Middle of Nowhere. It was GREAT! Just so you know, it looks like The Powers That Be at Pacific Bell have cleaned up The Phone Booth a bit. All the graffiti looks freshly scrubbed, there's a brand spankin' new phone book in the booth,
the new book was there when we visited b4 bm. we thought it was funny that there were more advertising pages than actual phone listings.

but the big question is: is my metal plaque still attached to the booth?

and the phone number has been changed to reflect the new area code. HOWEVER, THEY GOT IT WRONG. As you know, the correct phone number is 760-733-9969. However, on the phone there, they have a typo: it's listed as 760-739-9969. Ooops.
hahaha!! i didn't notice that
I put up a Blue Period sticker (my band... if you're curious) and some graffiti.
i visited your band pages the other day -- love the photoshop stuff. do u ever tour the sw?
We also left a pre-paid calling card in an envelope, with the stipulation that whoever takes it has to call us with it.
xlnt idea!
And of course, we took a ton of pictures. I'll e-mail you copies if you're interested.
oh, you bet! i'll put em up on the mojave site, you bet!
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all the info about The Phone Booth.
de nada
Have you ever driven any of the other dirt roads around there, or do you always just go back the way you came?
i've been all around there, mainly because the first time we got lost, so we ended up driving a bunch of roads all over the place.
Instead of going back, we decided to continue down that dirt road, and 36 anxiety-ridden miles later, we ended up back on the Cima-Kelso road.
yeah, we did that a couple years ago, in whip it!, and as soon as we got to the onramp at I-40, whip it! broke down! here's that story, if you want to see it:
And a little side note: I know you've been to the Salton Sea, but did you go to Salton City?
yeah, we camped there on the "beach"
It's really surreal, because it's this entire city that's been planned out, with all roads laid down, sewer lines and electrical lines in place, everything... except hardly anyone lives there, and hardly any houses have been built. It was supposed to be this resort town that a real estate developer built in the 60s--except that nobody moved in. What with all the dead fish, I can't imagine why.
i love the welcome to salton city sign that has depictions of all the fish they've unsuccessfully tried to introduce into the sea -- did you see that?
Anyway, many of the lot markers are still in place, and 20-year-old "for sale" signs are still up. There are a few decrepid closed motels there, a golf course with no grass, an abandoned yacht club--it's GREAT! Very twisted... Hey, where is the town that's half-submerged in the Salton Sea? We couldn't find it...
damn, pity you missed that! it's called bombay beach, and it's on the other side of the sea from salton city (it's on the east side). next time you're taking one of these trips, e-mail me earlier, amigo, & i'll supply directions & all kindsa dumb info!

how was the death valley gathering? i'd love to have been there ....

From: Denis Normand
Subject: research rally
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998


I'm participating in a research rally for the benefit of a local youth organization. Could you help me find the answer to the following question in the Geography section? Thank you very much.

Denis Normand
Québec, CANADA

"Cut into a 465 year old tree trunk, this phone booth is probably the oldest in the world. In which city do we find it?"

my guess would be kokomo, indiana

[i sent the following e-mail message to]

how did the URL end up scribbled on the Mojave Phone Booth? found it there, and just wondered.

From: ryan walsh
Subject: Re: in the middle of nowhere, in the mojave desert . . .
Date: Sat, 07 Nov 1998

The answer to that is quite simple. And the answer is best handled in story form. As follows:

I was trekking through the internet one day and I decided that it would be a pretty neat idea to have my own webpage. So, after shelling out a few bucks, I got a web page. And, mind you, it took me a while to come up with a good domain name. The ideas 'ugly sneaker' and 'bloody hell' came to mind, but they didn't seem that good. So, after much deliberation, I decided upon the British insult bloodywanker. But I'm straying from the purpose of the story. After surfing the net I went to (Yahoo's Internet Life magazine) and went into the Pretty Strange Site of the Day section. Low and behold the site of the day was about the phone booth in the middle of the desert. I felt compelled, if not obliged, to click on it and see what kinds of stories the page regailed.

There was your page, Deuce. And it said "Come with us to the booth". Unfortunately, I had no money to do so. I live here in Massachusetts. A far cry away from the desert. (But as a side note, I've wanted to go to see Burning Man for quite some time.) So I decided to do the next best thing... I called the booth...

No answer...

Waited two hours...

No answer...

Called another hour later...

A voice! The male on the other end informed me that I had reached the Mojave Desert phone booth. After a short while into the conversation, the person on the other end informed me that he was indeed not you. He was someone who had came to your site and decided to go to the booth. From what he could gather, you were probably having a little trouble getting to the booth. So, I had a conversation with him instead.

I had him do silly things like yell out into the desert. We chit chatted about the various things in life... like what the radio show people asked him when they called, the different and strange sites he saw (like the street whose name was com- posed entirely of X Y and Z's, and a pit that the locals called 'Moby Ditch'.), and the color of his undergarments. I then asked him to scrawl, as clear as he could, the address so that I could have a nifty promotion. And I asked him to take a picture of it and email me. Alas, he has yet to contact me. And that is the story.

My question for you is, why is it taking you so long to update your site? You went a few months ago. Also, did you meet this person that was there before you? And, lastly, do you happen to have a picture of my domain name? I took down and am changing it to something I am not sure of yet.

there has been, obviously, some delay in getting the mojave phone booth / burning man 98 info up on the site. lotsa junk i'm having to deal with that's delaying things. hang in there.

From: Greenyaker
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 1998

I just wanted to tell you how much fun I had reading your phone booth story. I recently moved to the Mojave Desert (from Michigan) and, during the last day of my trek, drove through the area of The Phone Booth. You can probably imagine my amazement upon finding a webpage with any mention of places like Cima and Baker. Really, I was laughing out loud and thinking, "Yes! This phone booth must be visited!" I'm curious about how the gathering went. How many people came, and how many of them had you never met? And did I see mention on your site of a gathering next year? When is it?

Thanks for the fun!

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998
From: Phillip Lollar
Subject: photo credit?

My name is Phil and I just read through your hilarious mohave phonebooth story at I had actually read it before in a fanzine or somewhere, that maybe I got from ponyboy. I RINGING IT RIGHT NOW!

Now, similar to your phone grail quest, I have a question fr you: are you the photographer credited in the hardcover Burning Man book? There's a picture of a smiling reveler, fullpage, in the sunset, wearing some sort of space helmet and a black/red chestplate. Did you take the photo? Did you? Well that heroic Micronaut in the photo is...

... wait a little....


When that book came out all my friends kept telling me I was in it, and to expect the royalty checks, yadda yadda, and I kept daydreaming that one day I'd actually cross paths with the photographer, and what I'd say. But now it seems like it wouldn't be much more than what I just typed above. Oh well.

You got a lotta mileage out of that one photo - even my dad saw it in Wired. I also saw it on a bman web page somewhere, and again in Wired.

Oh I got that Macros fanzine that had your name on it at the cafe -- some guy handed it to me. I remember Macros zine from a few years back, and hadn't seen it till this year waiting for a cup of coffee.

So, can the same guy who did the Mojave phone booth story, my photos, and Macros fanzine all be connected?????

"Your party is not answering -- please, try your call again; you will be disconnected."

OK back to work,

From: Chris Koldewyn
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998

Did I talk to you today?

I was at the phone booth, and the damn thing rang. The person making the call said he was calling from Phoenix, but didn't give a name. When I asked if he was connected with the cardhouse people, I didn't get an answer. Only other thing he would tell me was that he got the phone number from a friend and called it frequently but had never had anyone answer (which led me to believe it wasn't you...)

So look Mr D, if you give me your phone number, I'll suprise you with a call next time I'm out there! (I live in the Mojave, about 50 miles away. If I'm traveling through, I always take the backroads and stop and check the phone!)

Next time your going to the booth, you should visit the lava tube nearby!

From: John
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998

I was there, man. I was there! I drove up to the Mojave Phone Booth on the after noon of Sunday October 4, l998. I dont know exactly what time it was or even what Time Zone I was in.

I dug up the treasure. Oh yeah, I did dig it up. The phone rang at the booth. It was a guy name of Greg. He called me mate and said he was from NEW ZEALAND. Said he read about the phone booth in his local paper. I gave him my e-mail address and the cardhouse url. I went back to enlarge the treasure hole and a pickup truck comes through the gate a few feet west of the booth. This guy Robert gets out. He isnt too sure of my sanity or lack there of when I babble about cardhouse, burningman and Greg from New Zealand. The phone rings again and I asked Robert to answer it. It was a hang-up. Robert gets back into his pickup after taking photos of me and the booth and roars to the north. At this point I can not decide whether to burn down a Joshua Tree or take a whiz. I did both. Fire first. Fire is always first. Then whiz. Then fire again. Fire is good.

I liked your diamond steel plaque. "On this spot men from set foot inside THE MOJAVE PHONE BOOTH August Ninety-Eight We came in peace for all mankind GD SJ KCS Wagner BE"

Oh yeah. I was there! Your voyager type plaque inside the booth was interesting. I photographed it for further study. The light was failing. I torched another Joshua Tree in order to see more clearly, but the burning tree was holding my attention.

I replaced the treasure: Wisconsin NWS-655, Arizona bottle cap, piece of canvass and a dime. I added to the treasure as well. Oh yeah, added to it! Buried it all. Replaced the stones, railroad spike and shoes.

Oh yeah! I came, I saw, I dug, I buried and I burned!

--- The Truth Is Fire---

well done, J. although i do suspect / hope you're kidding about burning the tree.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998
From: Sherrie Brewer
Subject: Arizona Phone Booth

This would be interesting; however, the area code you are using (760) happens to be in California, not Arizona! Check it out.

as is the phone booth. "check it out."
(who ever said it was in arizona, anyhow?)

Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998
From: Kurt R. Heidelberg
Subject: hi!

hope you had fun at burning man. don't know if you got my last emails... accounts screwed up. i tried calling you last week, but you weren't there at first, then I couldn't get through.

mexico was a blast this season. I still owe you that pool!

From: Tim Jordan
Subject: mojave fun
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998

HEY, Deuce!!

Believe I spoke to you at the phone booth. I was quite memorable, I'm sure, as my dynamic personality commands attention. I said, "keep it down out there or I'm calling the cops!" We shared an unforgettable moment, if I remember correctly. Anyway, hope the trip was good.

Tim Jordan (Charlotte, NC)

From: rag
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998
Subject: Mojo series

Typical-I missed the gathering-dollar late and day short but I must thank you for the beauty, inspiration, total weirdness and your perseverence and commitment to the unfolding of the phone booth epic-also really enjoyed reading Mojo mailbox-I don't feel so misunderstood.....someone gave me a bumper sticker "It's still not weird enough for me" which I appreciate but did not put on my truck as I don't want to draw unwanted attention to myself. I'm a closet weirdo but you make me want to declare "Say it loud! I'm weird and I'm proud!" Thanks. What else do you do?


i think a wander around the site will answer that question.

From: rag
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998
Subject: Wig-o-Rama

I just wrote to thank you for the phone booth saga then realized that Wagner might really enjoy being photgraphed in the company of the plebian heads at Wig-O-Rama. This is my favorite place in Tucson-it's been in downtown Tucson for as long as I can remember-I think it's a front for something strange and evil. The heads and wigs have been there so long that it looks as though a nuclear holocaust has affected their once lovely faces. I could send you some photos that I recently did of the Wig-O-Rama heads. I don't have a scanner so I would send them snail mail. Let me know if you and Wagner are interested.


Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998
From: Mark Thomas
Subject: booth

i fucked up, and thought your gathering was next month. i was going to call and try to conference you in with a row of payphones under Rockefeller Center, then with some phones in the UK. oh well. sounds like the line was probably busy anyway. hope it was a fun trip.

Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998
From: The Monoxide Show - 96.1 KLPX
Subject: Radio

Thanks for talking to us on the radio the other morning. We appreciate it. The story of the phone booth is very interesting. We had lots of people calling for the number.

We linked your page to our site. Check it out at


From: Mark G.
Organization: Directions For Youth
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998

Dagnabbit, I tried and tried and you guys had the phone tied up all night. And my call even had a slightly conceptual (woo!) theme, because I was going to red-box the call from a payphone here. Oh well. Hope the event went well enough...

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998
From: Cathryn Bauer
Subject: It's Art; I'm Just Not Sure What Kind


Loved your saga of the Mojave Phone Booth which I arrived at via the Yahoo Weird Sites Archive.

Grace, peace, and mayhem,

From: ERBoardman
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998
Subject: poop

YOU ARE THE COOLEST. It is my dream to someday travel to the phone. Maybe I'll get married there. Thanks for your story. I hope you had a good weekend, I am jealous. Please fill me in on all the details.

Your biggest fan,


is that a proposal?

From: Brian St. Pierre
Subject: Greetings from Canada!
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998

Hey Deuce,
Heard you on WRIF in Detroit this morning. Called the booth hoping to talk with ya, no luck. Wanted to suggest putting an answering machine in the booth so you could get messages! Maybe Kerry could help set it up?
All the best, Brian...
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

i've been looking into voicemail, but it's looking bleak.

and who's kerry?

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998
From:Troy Fuss

DANG IT, I been calling for two days and no answer! What's going on here? YOu guys have caller ID on that phone and not picking up my calls?

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998
From: James Melvin

I tried to contact you the other day at the phone booth but, alas the Mojave is a awful big desert and you were not there at the moment.

I guess that the booth's existence lends credence to M. McCluhan's statement:

"There are no more remote places."

Hope you have a wonderful time at Burning Man.

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998
From: evan w. lewis
Organization: e v a n d o t c o m productions
Subject: Greetings

Hello Deuce,

I have to say that your site and the stories contained therin have provided me with wonderful amusement this afternoon.

I felt compelled to email you for two fundamental reasons.

1) You obviously share my deep love of the desert and its beauty, or else you wouldn't live there.

2) You find the beauty, humor, and total coolness of a phone booth in the middle of the Mojave Desert. And you're nuts enough to go visit the thing.

I can't wait to go see it myself. I'm in northern CA, so its not that far away.

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998
From: Jenna
Subject: hey!

I actually got ahold of the phonebooth today!! Was busy for awhile though, hope you got the message I called from here in Alaska!!

Hope you had a kick ass time at Burningman!! Hope to come down for it someday!!

As Always,

From: Scot Brees
Subject: You make it there?
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998

Thursday @ 2pm
I dialed the phone booth...
I rang...
I rang again...
I rang again...
I rang again...
I got busy signal (no doubt someone else ringing)
I rang again...
I rang again...
I rang again...
I rang again...
I rang again...

I hope y'all made it there OK. Perhaps the booth was dead? Moved?

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998
From: Total Waste of Time
Subject: Congrats!!!

Congratulations! Your site (Hello?) has been selected as Thursday, August 27th's "Waste of the Day"!!!

What is the "Waste of the Day"? Well in a nut shell it is an award that acknowledges your creative talent in designing a unique and different web site that has demonstrated a knack for wasting one's time. Now, wasting someone's time is NOT a bad thing. We all need an escape. So by no means is winning this award an insult. Sites that have achieved the honor of "daily site" have included, Magic sites, Games sites, and some just plain weird sites.

From: Clyde Lewis
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 01:10:29 -0600

Greeting Deuce,

I am writing this to you, and you are probably on the road. I want to inform you that I have featured your site on EarthMail which is an audio Newsletter. I also have a talk show originating in Salt Lake City Utah Called Ground Zero. I have offered a Challenge to my EarthMail subscribers to call your caravan at the Phone booth in the middle of Nowhere. My show deals with the bizzarre. My Earthmails deal with fun and interesting things. Ground Zero Broadcasts on the world wide web and has a cult following. I have interviewed the likes of Richard Hoagland, David John Oates, Ivan Stang and many other "bizarre" individuals. I have issued a challenge to my listeners to call you on the 27th. I told them to give you my e-mail adderess. I told them that if they call and reach you, this would be a very wierd event because this would be the first time to my knowledge that a phone call to the middle of nowhere would generate an e-mail from the middle of nowhere. I also told them to e-mail me with the results of their call. I hope this works.

if it works I would like to do an interview with you after you return from Burning man. It would be over the phone. My talk show is on a Rock station. KBER 101.1 fm. I also have an office at Earthbroadcasting. my number is 801-322-3949. You can call me in the evening and all night. This is a remarkable story.

I hope my challenge works. Chances are, if another Utah Station calls you they are ripping me off. I guess I am taking that Chance:

Clyde Lewis

From: Don Collette
Subject: Sounds like fun
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 98

Hello there: It is quite a trip, sounds like fun wish I could be there. Perhaps you could mention the names of the person that originally put it up and if he or she is still alive get their insight on this strange place for a phone. I certainly hope the next pool you get you can at least get two bodies in to it with comfort Hahahah.

PS: I am emailing you from Forest Ontario Canada perhaps you could put my name on the phone booth for me Don Collette. Thanks Have Fun.

If you see someone with out a smile give them yours.

ugh, don. ugh.

Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998
From: Kit Lo
Subject: Deuce, I'm calling the Booth tomorrow!

According to my watch (eastern standard time), you expect to drop in at 4:00 PM (1:00 PM in your side of the world). Remember to brush up on whatever you remembered of Lori, and the fact that I have the buzz of completing my favorite computer game of the moment, "MechCommander!"

I might have to take out the phone wire for my voice line, and use my computer to autodial its way to the Booth!

Kit Lo

From: Mark Simple
Subject: Shout out to my Detroit homeys (sic)...
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 08:41:48 -0400

I was waiting for the alarm clock radio to go off today and then I thought I'd better turn it on. Two seconds of a commercial, then "There's this guy who's been calling a payphone in the Mojave desert..."

So it was a LONG interview, that surprised me...thanks for the "shout out", I was laughing. Of course, I couldn't reach anyone else by phone... did you tape the interview?

Afterward the guy was playing "Tijuana Taxi" and grousing about his childhood drum lessons for a minute or so. Then they called the booth: "wow, just imagine...there's this phone booth in the middle of the desert just ringing...and we're on the other end!" Yep, you sure are, morning drive-time DJs, you sure are.

From: Justin
Subject: regarding your epic saga
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998

i must say, i'm impressed. what first came about as a very silly and albeit fairly humorous story finished up in classic fairy tale fashion, a beautiful ending to a wonderful story. this is no bullshit mind you, i nearly had tears in my eyes when you declared the first person to be called from the booth would be the writer of the Mojave books, Dennis. fabulous passion and excitement you showed, the fabulous energy and conviction so many people seem to miss, even if you simply mean it. im not sure if you ever realized how powerful your story really is. its very well done, from the organization of your timeline, to your humour and fun in your writing style. i wont say im a big deal, so take no more satisfaction in my letter than you have in the many you've rec'd from kids saying they enjoyed it. i will just say congradulations on a wonderful story and the best thing on the internet i've read in sometime. hats off, and never stop.

thanks 4 your kind comments. glad u enjoyed the story. (it pretty much wrote itself)
i'll be calling your insane ass at the booth on thrus and friday. to save money, i'll be dialing from the office, hell i might call up some friends and get a case of coronas (natch) to celebrate. the funniest thing of all how well you've succeeded in making serious people laugh and appreciate such a crazy idea. i mean, hell, im going to invite people over to drink in celebration of your fucking journey to a phone booth in the middle of a desert!!! is that one s or two?

pick up the phone


From: Louis Bradshaw
Subject: Payphone story
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 1998

The greatest Saturday morning time kill I ever had with my clothes on. Educational, too. As a FIFTY EIGHT YEAR OLD (how the hell did that happen?) hippie has been, all I can say is keep on truckin.

me? greatest saturday morning timekill? what about pee wee's playhouse?
Educational, too. As a FIFTY EIGHT YEAR OLD (how the hell did that happen?) hippie has been, all I can say is keep on truckin.

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 1998
From: Piss Clear
Subject: Wanna pick your brain about The Phone Booth at BM...

You don't know me, but... I've met your friend Mark Simple out at Burning Man a couple of times, briefly. My name's Adrian, and I do a little newspaper out there in Black Rock City called PISS CLEAR.

Anyway, I've been wanting to e-mail you for awhile, having read your entire story about The Mojave Phone Booth in Pop Smear magazine a few months ago. I LOVED your article! Perhaps because it totally sounded like something that I would do...

You see, every Thanksgiving, I go on a five-day roadtrip off into the Southwest desert. In past years, I've visited Area 51, random ghost towns, Highway 666, Four Corners, Arcosanti, and lots of points in-between. This year, I was thinking about going to the Mojave Desert--I've never been to Joshua Tree National Park--and reading your article cinched it for me. I MUST visit The Phone Booth. You see, you've given me a mission. I'm fascinated by this phone booth now.

Anyway, I ran into Rusty and Brody today at the Burning Man Film Festival here in Es Eff and they gave me all the poop on The NeighBARhood; your name was mentioned, so I thought I'd fire an e-mail missive your way...

I'm looking forward to possibly meeting you out on the playa. I really want to pick your brain about what's in store for my roadtrip out to The Mojave Phone Booth. Chances are, I'll call on the 27th to say hi.

And just so you know, PISS CLEAR is doing two jam-packed issues this year out at Black Rock. We'll be camped over in Disturbia. Stop by and say hi... or chances are, I'll stop by and say hi to you over in the NeighBARhood... hope to see you out on the playa!

Adrian Roberts, Editor

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998
From: Chris Barrus
Organization: No-Fi Records

Ack! Proving yet once again that *everything* can be found on the net, I find a web site for the Phone Booth. My friends and I would camp out there pretty often in the mid-80s - we were bored punk rock phone phreaks and didn't understand What The Hell a phone booth was doing out there, but we would drive out there just to call everyone we knew.

I can't make it to the gathering (and Burning Man too), but I'll be sure to call.

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998
From: paul
Subject: you have way too much time on your hands

you know, paul, you should trademark that phrase.

From: John
Subject: Phone booth
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998

I have been reading all of your tales about the phone booth.

I will call on the 27 or 28 to see if it is all true.

Bury something for me to find in October.

I couldn't find a phone listing for you in Tempe using Lycos. Do you make all your calls from the Mojave? I'll bet that is where you really live. You and Lorene....yaaaaa!

unlisted is the only way to go.

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998
From: Rolie Veloz
Subject: (no subject)

please send info to


sure. but info on exactly what?

From: c. beatle
Subject: Garden of Eden
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998


I didn't find your e-mail address right off the bat, so I thought I would improvise.

Have you ever been to Lucas, Ks.? (off I-70 in the middle of nowhere) There is a huge piece of folk art there, a monument to a twisted vision of the Bible and populist ideas from a Civil War veteran and Mason. It includes a pyramid in which the artist, S.P. Dinsmore, is buried along with his first wife. (His second wife he married in his eighties, she was 20 and he fathered 2 children. The man was a goat, a genius with the spirit of a demon that has haunted Bob Dole country for one hundred years.) He also built a log cabin, made from concrete logs, formed seperately--it's all concrete, tons of it. The labor Christ crucified by doctors, politicians, preachers and lawyers is especially irksome in Republican agribusiness country.

If you do go and they still have that 20 year old Conservative tour guide who treats this masterpiece as some quaint freakshow constructed by a madman, give her hell and ask some challenging questions. I know you're up to the task.

The structures were featured fictionally in a movie called Wax or the Discovery of Television among the Bees. Mention that when they come for you and the insanity plea is in the bag.

Agape and good luck,
c. beatle

open-mouthed, or greek word?
Greek word, forgot where I put my bag of accents. If you want to believe I was so blown away by your website that I had meant the other, that is up to you.

Cool site. See you in Kansas.

From: Patsy
Subject: Hello
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998

Still love your webpage. Passing it on to friends. Wish I could join you at the phone booth. Good luck.



Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998
From: Steve Schwartz

The Phonebooth...imortalized...Great!

We are leaving out of Santa Barbara in our Army Troop Carrier. Might be too early for us to meet you in Death Vallley but we are considering joining you guys in Tonapah on Saturday. What time do you anticipate leaving Tonapah, the later the better for us. We are thinking it might be fun to take the secondary road that goes from Tonapah to Gabbs.

By the way, in any event, be sure to visit Elmers Creek while in Death Valley; about three years ago, I was tired of following the signs and trails leading us like to places like Devils Golf Course, Badwater etc.

Follow the Winnabago's, take the 5 mile one-way Artist Palette drive, just south of Furnace Creek.

Look for the sign that says "dip", there may be others first, my guess it's the one over 2 miles into the drive. As you approach the crest, before the dip, you'll see another squiggly sign representing twist in the road, set at the very bottom of the dip.

The sign marks the bottom of of Elmers Creek (its off to the right), a beautiful, scenic dry wash thats worth a short hike up.

You will know you are in the right place because of the "E" scratched into the bottom of the sign, and the Indian Nickels lodged between the back of the sign and the wood post. There should be two slashes now. Feel free to leave your own.

If you have reached the "Artist Palette" parking area, just a few hundred yards on the road past E.C., you have gone too far.

Hurry and visit Elmers Creek before the BLM, in cooporation with the folks that gave you Magic Mountain and Water World, flood the creek and add a gondola, snack shop, steel fence and walkway.

Mention Elmers Creek to the bartender at the Furnace Crrek Hotel and get a free shot of Tequila.

Hope to catch you in Tonapah
if not at the Burn...

From: bogaard
Sent: Monday, August 03, 1998

Where's your Mojave desert phone call ? A public radio station mentioned it some time ago, (heard it from their real audio file) But now i can't find it.

Eric Jan, (The Netherlands)

From: Stacey
Subject: mojave desert payphone hijinks
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 98

hey deuce -- a friend turned me onto your mojave desert payphone adventure and i have to say, i loved it! what an amazing quest! i may call that payphone myself, just to see who (if anyone) picks up! anyway. congrats.

oh, yeah, i did browse the rest of the site, actually. i liked world wide wagner a lot!! did you ever read dirt, a short-lived magazine for young men? they had a similar strain, with a store mannequin's head they took on a road trip. it was called "east coast head" and they would take polaroids of e.c.h. with various sites and folks. very funny. anyway

god knows i would love to come to the booth with all of you, but it's a long way from manhattan to the mojave, so i guess that ain't likely. but i may just call. or you guys could call me -- toll-free. [number deleted. -- ed.] either way, have a great trip! i look forward to seeing updates!


From: faddahwolf
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 98

Pretty much finished reading all your Web site, the phone call with Lorene, Dennis CASE-O'-Beer, pts. 1 & 2, both trips to the booth, Wagners various pictures with it & Ponyboy GirlieToolshed (Oh! so yer the WAGNER guy with the Herb Alpert Whip It Art Car! NOW I remember meeting you...)... I'm sending the URL to a bunch o' friends today. Too much, mon. You are a Jim Jarmusch film in the making!

At your service,

-- The Digital Navigator
of the Black Rock Desert
Black Rock Ranger, Reserve, VERY Active.
Fully Representin'. In the HOUSE.

here's the notice sent out by herr wolf:
From: faddahwolf
Subject: Phone Booth at the End of the World
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 98

This is too hilarious. Folks, please check out:

Too funny. Somewhat Burning Man related, but a hilarity in its own right. A bit long, but you'll want to click your way all the way through. Sort of a Jim Jarmusch film in the making, unfolding in all its loopy brilliance before your eyes.

And it looks like I might be helping these guys, if not directly, by some adjacent means, in getting a phone booth out to the middle of Burning Man for them this year.

And don't forget to keep trying the Mojave Phone booth:

(760) 733-9969
-- Faddah

From: ladybee
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998
Subject: Warning: RATS

HEllo dear,

LadyBee, HIgh PRiestess of the Shrine of the Dessicated Rats here.

We've met, I was the housing co-ordinator at Art Car WestFest last year...I believe we were introduced at some point...

But nevertheless, I love your Mojave Desert thing (for lack of a better word) and I looked at it because Steve Wolf alerted the Diox List ( a Burning Man spin-off) to it this afternoon.

Great use of the Internet...I wish there were more quirky, amusing sites like yours. I'm sure there are...but who has time to find them.

See you at Burning Man.


From: happybigjim
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998
Subject: good story on the phone booth

thanks, jim

Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998
From: Derek Walker

Went there yesterday. Too strange. Thanks for the info.


you mean you went to the website?
or you went to The Booth Itself??
Went to the booth. Followed the instructions on the website.

Just for the record it was an all-around weird trip. Drove up to the gates around area 51 the same day.


Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998
From: Don
Subject: I've Been To The Mojave Phonebooth...

...and I've made a call from it.

There's an annual ride for on/off-road motorcycles called LA-Barstow-Vegas and once it went by that payphone...and I used it!

Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998
From: Anthony Wlock
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Subject: ma bell ami

I find your phone fascination far-out.

how literal of you!
I noticed, while wading through your maze of pages, the title of Ma Belle Ami. This is the title of an obscure 70's song by Tee Set. Any coincidence, or is this just a bad time of night?
nope, you got it right. (& you're the 1st one, too!) the title "Ma Bell Ami" was indeed intended as a play on the title of the tee set song -- with the second meaning being, of course, ma bell (which is what americans used to call the phone system) as friend (ami). unless you're speaking hebrew, in which case it would mean, "the phone system is my people." i wonder why no one ever wrote a song called "the phone system is my people?"

or maybe that's what tea set really meant by "ma belle ami." hmm . . .

From: Roger Dennis
Subject: more publicity
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998

Hi again,

its very weird but the BBC in London called me up on Sat and spent 5 minutes talking to me about the payphone project. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live on the Up All Night Programme. As part of the interview i mentioned your site too - thought you'd be interested.

Date: Thu, 16 Jul 98
Subject: we all scream

Hi Deuce,

If you go through Tecopa enroute to Burning Man, make sure to stop off at the China Date Ranch (if you haven't before). Get a date and chocolate date ice cream shake. It's yummy...I think you'll dig it.

I'll give you directions if you like...


From: twiggins
Subject: phone booth story
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998

Enjoyed the hell out of your phone booth story. I envy you. What a total off the wall story man, I love it. Later.

Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998
From: Dave Moore

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story about the phone booth in the middle of nowhere, and your quest to find it... I think you're on to something here... :)

You should consider making an audio book of the "Mojave Phone Booth and Other Adventures" -- It would sell!! And an audio clip of the conversation you had with Lorene would be cool too!

As I sit in my office day after day, I often wish I could do exactly what you did, finding that phone booth... Well, who knows? Maybe someday I'll find my own ...

I felt kinda' like I was watching an episode of Seinfield as I read your story... Thank you for it...

Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998
From: dennis
Subject: re telephone adventures

I, too have to concur, you have way too much time on your hands....but it was a good read Keep it up !

Why not try putting your URL on the moon that'll get you a lot of media attention


Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998
From: Roger Dennis (New Zealand)
Subject: feedback

hi there,

just been browsing your tale of the booth in the middle of nowhere and may just add it to my "places i must visit in my lifetime" list. but seriously - a great wee site.

From: Michel de Koning
Subject: Phone Booth
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998

Incredible story....

Cool that you put this story on the internet...

Best regards,
Michel de Koning
Papendrecht in The Netherlands in Europe.

From: Emiel Bootsma
Subject: Nice story
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998

Hello Deuce,

I'm just a guy from The Netherlands who read the story on the far-far-far-away telephone in the desert. I loved it. Probably more Dutchmen wil read it, because a Dutch provider did a story on this in his daily e-paper. It's wonderful that there are still countries that are big enough to have a seldom used telephone in the desert. In The Netherlands we can hardly imagine...

With best regards,

Emiel Bootsma
Best (small town in the South of The Netherlands, 25,000 inhabitants)

This is AMAZING -- Lazlo managed to find a satellite image of the Mojave Booth!

Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998
From: Lazlo Nibble
Subject: Mojave Phone Booth From Space?

I started at Baker, CA and kind of scanned around looking for stuff that looked like the Auto Club map. Kind of a pain in the ass but well worth it -- and I bet I could find it on foot now too...heheh.

I just picked up David Darlington's book on the Mojave last week -- he doesn't mention the phone book in the index, but we'll see...

From: Jerry Fitzgerald
Subject: mojave
Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998

The story of your Mojave Phone Booth was incredible! I enjoyed the tales immensely (and some people think I waste time on the Net. HAH!).

Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998
From: Jan van der Knaap

Hi Deuce,

Todays "Daily Planet", the biggest e-zine in Holland, mentioned your phonebooth story so i decided to visit your site. I dont think i have ever been on a website for 2 hours ! Great & very fascinating stuff. I even called the booth from holland, no answer. But i'll try again! Saw all the pics of your trip and read the story with great interest. I will hyperlink your site from the next issue of our own online zine (in dutch).. All the best, keep up the good work and say hello to Wagner & Whip It! from me eh ?


--Jan van der Knaap
Hellevoetsluis (pronouced "hell of a slice"), Holland

From: Hanah Metchis
Subject: hi
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998

I read about your mojave phone booth site in Netsurfer Digest. I went and read the whole thing, and it was great! Thanks for the entertainment!


Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998
From: Barbara Noble
Subject: desert phone booth

just came across your web site and read the phone booth - desert - story. Neat. Sent a copy to two friends. Nifty site - different - not run of the mill.

From: Bob Helland
Date: Wednesday, July 01, 1998
Subject: Well done!

Saw a link to your page/site/adventure/life in netsurfer digest.


I've driven from New Mexico to Los Angeles (and back, duh) several times. Too bad I didn't know about the phone booth then. I would have called.

I remember that stretch between needles and barstow. (I think). I got out of the car one time and just wandered out a ways. Couldn't go too far, though. I had a long haired albino guinea pig in my RX7. Thought he might die from the heat. Probably a good thing. I might have kept going!

I'm a trumpet player. First album I ever owned: Herb Alpert - whipped cream album.

I'm also a big fan of Wagner/art cars/wandering. Imagine my joy at the discovery of the deuce of clubs/your website. (My mom used to take me to the Roy Rogers museum when I was a kid.)

Anyway (ramble,ramble,ramble....) I just wanted to drop you a line, now that you're famous.

Thanks for the view. Really enjoyed it!

Take care, and be careful out there.

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998
From: Gordon Spence
Subject: Mojave Phone

stumbled across your site today and was intrigued by the phone thing. kinda appealed to me, doing something just for the hell of it.... anyhow, keep having fun.

Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998
From: Kurt R. Heidelberg
Subject: great!


a couple points of clarification, though:

I ain't no doctor... not yet

i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt
I wasn't dowsing - that was a trowel in my hand. I was scoping out the site. Bad scan is all.
yeah. you know my site is devoted to TRUTH & all!
Please make mention of my girlfriend, Gabrielle Duff, for taking these fine photos.
well done, gabrielle!
Nice page! My department will be very proud of me. You've got a lot of anthropologist fans by now, and they're going to love it!
cool. maybe we should have a mojave phone booth convention.
and now, we can invite the swedes!

here's a communication from the runner-up in our Mojave Phone Booth contest (apparently the contest was won by a nose!)
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998
From: Vance Dubberly
Organization: Desert West Media
Subject: Grave Disappointment

The pool. Yes we went after the pool. Not only was it hunted down after 8 hours of toil in the the desert sun, but upon our arrival there was not but a hole in the ground, about normal for the work of an archaeologist. Yes, Deuce, on a religious quest we had gone to find the pool and perform a ceremonial baptism with Mojave River Holy Water. We braved the mud flats of Soda Lake, the rocks that cut in the cinder cone fields, and miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles of nothing. We trudged to perform our religious rites in that pool, our new Mecca. Only to find that one day prior, some scientific-(probably a darwinist) know-it-all had arrived and desecrated the sacred site. Not only stealing a religious relic but leaving nothing in its place. And so to set the matter straight, we The Sacred Order of Mojave Moon Howlers (a.k.a. two desert lunatics) have erected in its place a new relic. A magical Rail Spike known to our order to possess great power, it is said that this relic was once used to hold the tracks in place for the coming of the great race of locomotives, and if cared for properly can be used to write one's name in the sand in such a manner that when the sun shines perfectly upon the letters, they will make shadows. So let a new adventure begin.

Vance Dubberly

P.S. Hope you don't mind if we continue what you started, this sort of insanity is something that deserves to be perpetuated. It is in the spirit of such things as Burning Man. We'll have a page up shortly for the new burial and would appreciate it if you'd link to it from your phone booth page. Thanks, will send url when complete.

i'll put the link up as soon as i get the URL

From: KALI
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998
Subject: Desert lingerie

Gail Wade read my story, "White Levis". He may show it to you in the next few days. The Mohave is the least empty place I know. Victoria's Secret chemises, one black stocking with "Bitch" woven in white---in a battered flight bag on the dirt road to Amboy, near a rusted trash can with a rubber amputated arm in it.

Mary Sojourner

From: Eric Bernabe
Date: Mon, 25 May 1998
Subject: Great Site

I came across your site from the "Payphone Project". I truly enjoyed the story and the rest of the site (what I've seen so far). You have given me a few great ideas for my next visit the the Great American Southwest.

I plan to get out that way this summer, if you would like, I would be more than happy to bury something near the phone for another Invitational.

Thanks for the great site,
Eric Bernabe

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998
From: Art Weiler
Subject: The Story

I sure did enjoy the story about the phone booth. I stumbled across it by accident. I used to live in Barstow, CA. That is where the Bun Boy got started. I was in the USMC and we used to go to the Bun Boy to do some of our drinking. They have a nice bar. Anyway if anyone were going to Vegas and stopped at the Bun Boy in Barstow and had a drink the bartender would give you a drink token and you could redeem it for a drink in Baker. We knew the bartender so we got quite a few tokens and would get soused everytime we stopped in Baker.

So now you know about the Bun Boy...


here's a communication from the winner of our Mojave Phone Booth contest:
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998
From: Kurt R. Heidelberg
Subject: back home

We have returned from our 4 day vacation well satisfied. Gabrielle and I recovered the pool, and took a few shots in the process (please send me your snailmail address so I can send it to you). We should have the shots ready in a week or so.

Groovy time altogether. After you called, a friend of yours (Kathy?) called. We then moved on to the Brothel Museum, which was really a corner in a bar around some of the legal brothels in Nye county (NV). It was just a bunch of newspaper clippings from the 70's to present about all the politics involving the industry. Definitely not on the must-see list.

Continuing north, we stopped at a couple of places to collect some obsidian and chalcedony (rocks we use to make stone tools in our replicative work), and stayed the night in Tonopah. Tonopah is a neat mining town... I wish we had more time to explore.

The next day we went to Las Vegas, via Rachel (Area 51). Rachel was kind of disappointing. The only attractions are the "Little Ale Inn" and the Area 51 research center. I expected this, but the town was REALLY dead, more like a small trailer park. I'm sure things get livelier at major events, though. We went to the Black Mailbox, which is now protected by a white painted steel casing, as I imagine vandal tourists have driven the owner to do. We spent an hour photographing that.

When we got to Vegas I realized that all of the 6x7 photos I had taken on the trip were bad ... major drag ... as I had loaded slide film into the backs rather than the black and white I thought I had. Since I used yellow and red filters to take the shots, none of the photos would be good in color (the excavation shots were done 35mm, and should be fine).

After 2 days in Vegas we left early this morning to go back to the phone booth and shoot it again. Things went well. We actually got a phone call while we were there for an "Aaron Meyer." Sounded like a debt collector.

I said he wasn't in.


Date: Tue, 19 May 1998
From: "David Gómez-Rosado"
Subject: Thank you!

Hey Deuce!

Here is David from New York City (no, you don't know me) ... I just wanted to tell you that I found your telephone booth story posted on the web most entertaining. You managed to distract me from serious work (I am the creative director for a technology company ... multimedia and stuff) and for that I am eternally grateful!

that's what we live for: distracting people from serious work!
our motto: NO TRABAJO!
But seriously, I am glad that there is still people like you out there finding "specialness" even on the most mundane things ... or at least in what other thinks is "mundane" ... I personally think is awesome.

Thanks again ... I hope you really build a telephone booth right next to it. Monopolies are no good for this country ... :-) If you ever need help on designing a "better" booth, send me a note ... I am trained as an industrial designer and I could think of many improvements for a dessert-bound public telephone ... and lets not talk about the amenities! You have to think of "added value" if you want to "lure" customers away from the original but obsolete model.


David (Dahveed) Gomez-Rosado

From: Lanceman11
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998


By the way (oops!) the site was "Misti's house of fun" not Wendy's. It's an off-the-wall site with fun and weird stuff (example: a 13 minute I.Q. test!) I will send it to you if you like.

The reason I'm mailing you back so soon is that I've got a (rare) great idea! You should post the approximate date and time that you'll arrive at the phone booth and see how many people call you! Give everyone only a few minutes to chat, so that everybody can have a chance to reach you. Tape the phone calls for ANOTHER story! This could be a real happening thing, NO?

we're way ahead of you on that one, thanks.

Date: Fri, 15 May 1998
From: N. from California

Hi Deuce

Thought you might be interested in learning that awhile back MPB [Mojave Phone Booth] was the subject of some discussion on a local Seattle radio talk show. This information came to me via Girl Trouble's song and dance man K.P.Kendall. I don't know anything about it but you might obtain some more information on this from him directly if you're interested in keeping the "MPB saga" going. Write to K. P. -- apparently he never heard the discussion but a friend of his brother's who really got into the MPB was the instigator so K.P. might be persuaded to get some more info. I assume radio talk shows keep tapes/transcripts of their broadcasts and they are available to the public.

Kudos and Regards,


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998
From: Joe Ault

COOL!!! Egads, man, you've gone mainstream!! First the NY Times went to color, now this...what next?? :-)


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998
From: Girl Trouble

Oh My Gawd! We Can't Believe It. I am going out and get one [N.Y. Times] today!!!!!

More later. Thanks, Girl Trouble

Date: Fri, 15 May 1998
From: Candi Strecker

Whoa, this is spooky - - I was just at your website reading the Mojave Phone Booth stuff (always great to see my friends mentioned in the new york times!) - - I mean, I must have been going out the backdoor just as you came in the front.

When's Westfest this year anyways? I hadn't realized there was gonna be a second one. This time I'll Bring The Whole Family.

Date: Thu, 14 May 1998
From: Candi Fisher

I just read through your web page about the phone booth in the Mojave Desert... what a riot!

I used to leave those little yellow sticky notes on payphones in various places I traveled, with my post office box address and a request for postcards... I've collected 2,000 so far! :)

Thanks for sharing the saga.


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998
Subject: Terrific Telephony

Dear Deuce,

I just read you Mojave Desert report - spurred on by an article in todays New York Times. Page E10, May 14th.

Love your work.

Aries Keck, Washington, DC

From: Lanceman
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998

Your story about the remote phone booth was THE most interesting thing I've had the good fotune to read. I am sooo glad that I stumbled across it in Misti's House of Humor! That piece should be published as a book! I could not stop reading until the story was over (but it really isn't, is it?) I am fascinated and intrigued... How did WAGNER get the hole in his head? I must know! I have just one more word about the Phone Booth Adventure...


Thanks 4 the Entertainment!

From: rothko
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998

so, my boyfriend pointed me to your mojave desert phone story, along with the snide comment that "it makes your hometown look like a teeming metropolis..." (i went to school in a town of 2,000 people in southern minnesota -- called Blooming Prairie of all things, ugh)... so i loved the page, it totally rocks (i like the wacky wagner shit too), and then i thought "hey, my friend sorabji had some crazy shit on his page about payphones, maybe i'll mail this deuce guy and let him know about it." but i went to sorabji's page ( to make sure i had the right url before mailing you, and lo and behold, you're already linked there. small fuckin world.

excuse me while i go kill my hideous coworker for playing puff daddy in her cubicle now.


the world thanks you for this valuable service

From: HippieCat
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998

You rock!!!!!! That sounds like something I would do. Damn....I wish I had now that I think about it. That had to be a blast. Do you still call it? If so, have you ever caught Lorene again? I'm about to call after I finish this e-mail. If I ever catch her I'll be sure to tell her how I got the ridiculous idea to call.


From: Tim Ring
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998

Hi Deuce,

Loved your phone booth storey. I come from a small island off the coast of Ireland called Valentia (of the coast of County Kerry). When I was a kid (in the seventies) we still had a manual phone system. You had to crank the phone and an operator (my mother) told you when to insert your coins. Because we ran the local post office our number was Valentia 1 (sadly, no longer).

Unfortunatly I have have to work in Dublin (not much call for mega-programmers on Valentia) But I get back as often as I can.

If you like remote places you should come her and visit Skellig Rock. This is a mountain which rises over seven hundred feet straight out of the sea about ten miles off the coast. There was a monastic settlement here from the sixth century unlil the late middle ages. No one lives there now (there are two automatic light houses). There are hundred of steps leading from the landing stage to the monastic settlement (about seven hundred feet up). When you get there you can dangle you feet over the edge and look straight down at the landing. During the summer local boats bring out visitors. If you can get there on a quiet day the feeling is amazing.

I remember my fist visit there. We were there on our own (I and a few friends). It was a quite day with no wind. Up at the summit you could not hear the sea and there were no everyday sounds. It was quite a spiritual experience. I can understand why the Monks went there all those centuries ago.

From: Max
Date: Sun, 3 May 1998


Your payphone story is the greatest. I used to call this payphone at the haight/stanyan McDonalds (San Francisco) with my brother when I was a kid. You've taken my childhood hobby to the extreme!

See ya,


Date: Sun, 03 May 1998
From: RedBoxChiliPepper

Hey, just wanted to let you know that your adventures with the Mojave Desert payphone were truly inspiring! I've been just your average pay phone addict for most of my life and love hearing stories like yours. And trying to get a competing pay phone in the area was an excellent punchline. Anyway, keep up the great work!

Date: Sat, 02 May 1998
From: george

i dont know how i came across your phone booth story, but it was great. i read all your links. it was very interesting. just thought i would let you know.

From: Rex Iscariot
Subject: Telephones in weird places
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998

Hey Deuce...

Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know how much I appreciated your Mojave Phone Booth story. I've attempted to explain my weird fascination with "remoteness" to people and haven't had much luck, so it's a pleasant thing to see that someone else appreciates it.

Similarly, I was all gooey and excited over connecting to a web server physically located in Antarctica ( - it's not up often, but when it is, it's interesting. I understand there are some web servers down there at Mawson and Davis Stations (Australian) which have webcams hooked up to take a picture once an hour.

Still, there's something about a payphone...I used to live in a small western New Jersey town called Califon. Now if you've never been to Jersey, undoubtedly you picture massive concrete factories and smokestacks belching fire and carbon monoxide and WHAT ALL ELSE. That's true, but only in Northeastern New Jersey. Western Jersey has a lot of farms, fields, and forests, and empties out into Pennsylvania, which is basically a huge, massive forest with a few interstates going across it.

Anyway my house in Califon was right on the Raritan River...Across the river was a park on what was an island...Strangely, right in the middle of that island, was a payphone which seemed to serve no purpose...I kind of thought that was cool...but obviously it doesn't compare to your story.

I've never been out to California but my parents live in Tucson and I was lucky enough to visit them...That vast, beautiful space between Tucson and Nogales was truly impressive...I wonder if there were any payphones out in the middle of all of that.

Anyway, good story :-)

Rex Iscariot

Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998
From: Jenna
Subject: phone booth


Your story kept me totally entertained this morning, I could hardly leave my seat (even for another cup of coffee). I happened upon it while checking the links on my page (coincidentally enough I had just checked the Burningman Page I link to as well)and so I see the link to your story and I read it, laughing and enjoying each page, in suspense as I waited to see what happened next. Sounds like quite an experience, and sort of a 'quest' if you think about it, things falling into place like that. (I like the pool pic btw *L*)

I live in Alaska and I am going to be on the look out for remote Phonebooths now, and I'll be sure to write down the number and send it in to the page. I've often wondered if anyone ever used them. And now I know that with a little initiative and alot of patience you just might get an answer, and meet some interesting people in the process.

Are you going to Burningman again this year?? I'm hoping to go one year, its a bit out of the way for me as you can imagine *L* I'm sure I'll be back in the lower 48 sometime in my life.

Well, Thank you for the Saturday morning entertainment. Hope life treats you well.

Take it easy,

As Always,


Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998
From: Vance Dubberly
Organization: Desert West Media


Shall I assume that nobody has yet found the pool? Wonderful little adventure at the phone booth. Just the sort of insanity us desert rats so love. Do you still call? I'm going to put a link up to your phone both page from mine. Just thought I'd write and say I enjoyed the site and you may be getting your pool back sometime soon, I spend every sunday in the Mojave, it is my religion.

Vance Dubberly

interesting. well, i wouldn't use the pool for any kind of baptism. it's too small & you might bump your head.

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998
From: Lara Hartley

Thanks for a great story on the phone booth - one of my faves in the desert!

I recently did a story on the booth but unfortunately, due to an editor with NO sense of humour, I was unable to include info on your site - which I notice has been considerably enlarged. Cool photos, especially the ones with the shadows.

I like your Wagner statue in the pics, I do something similar with an old doll and her parts - parts is parts doncha know.

Has anyone dug up the pool yet?????

Lara Hartley
Desert Dispatch

From: Mr. N.

Deuce, you've got to get a life! I didn't realize that my letter to Wig Out would spur anyone on to such an adventure. Now, if only that dedication and energy could be channeled into something a bit less, uh, out world.

glad to hear from you. i tried finding you on the net, but failed. how did you find the site--did the GT-sters clue you in? as far as getting a life--well, who's the moke who drove out to the booth in the first place, eh there nicky boy?
Anyway, it's a pretty cool booth, as you know, and I'm glad you found it. Hope you have good success in setting up a competing booth in the neighborhood. Keep us informed.
well, some friends & i just camped out next to the booth a couple weeks ago, & there will be photos (ohhhh will there be photos!) on my website in due course. actual DAYLIGHT photos. and i drove my art car on the power line road all the way from the Cima exit to Kelso! of course, she broke down as soon as i tried to get on the *real* highway--I-40--and i spent the next three days in needles, ca. but that's another (part of the) story. . . .

From: sorabji
Subject: what a great story

of course, i'm equally fixated on payphones:

would you mind if i added a link to your story from my site?

i'd be delighted. it's a great site! i'm going to be spending some time there.
by the way i called the number and the area code has changed.

such a great story, i don't know what else to say...


From: sorabji
Subject: 760 Payphone

ah, yes..
you're linked off the top page now.
i can't tell you why, but i read the thing again, i'm like tingling all over for some reason. maybe to think of so many similar experiences i indulged in but have never related to anyone. your story is a classic.

From: Patsy
Subject: Mojave Road


I just wandered into your website while looking for information on the Mojave Road. What a cool place! I loved your story on the Telephone Booth, I may try to find it one day. I am a Texan transplanted to the Mojave desert and I love it here and try to see as much of it as I can, exploring around in my jeep and trying to find neat places to go. That's how I found your page.

From: Daniel Trayler
Subject: Who can it be now?

Just wanted to say I liked your article on the Phone booth in the middle of the Mojave desert. If getting a phone booth installed is only $2300 hundred dollars, maybe you should take up a collection from PopSmear readers and have an official PopSmear booth installed in the desert. Hell it would give me a reason to head out and see the Phone booth.

there's already a reason to head out and see the phone booth. know what the reason is?
because it's there!

From: CameronChurch
Subject: the phone booth


was checking out your site and was intrigued by your reference to a lonely phone booth in the mojave. i wanna check out the booth if you would kindly spread the joy and send me some directions. i'm in the mojave a lot -- it's a great place for pyro-bands to have shows and for desert camping for us l.a. folks. i also cruise thru on the way to ski mammoth mtn.

fyi -- i found deuce of clubs while surfing bman sites. last year was my 4th bman; my first was '93. hope you guys were bent by the experience.


From: Gene
Subject: Glow-in-the-dark phone booth painting opportunity

Saw this in the L.A. Times this a.m., made me think of your "project":

"According to Premiere Radio, the Nevada Department of Transportation has been swamped with complaints than an emergency telephone booth on a desolate stretch of U.S. Route 50 is impossible to see or use at night because the state won't install a light bulb. But Nevada officials have their reasons. Although the bulb would cost a mere $1, running a power line to the site brings the tab to $15,462."
Then again Deuce, a ghostly glowing object off a major highway might lead to a little vehicular confusion...

From: Dave Meyer

I called that Mojave desert phone, to let everyone know, they changed the area code to (760). Now everyone who has time to waste can try it too! I let it ring like 12 times, no answer.

From: jane

oh great, now I'm calling the desert every day. you are a bad influence.

From: Hardy Black
Organization: Sultana High School
Subject: Akins Mine Road Phone Booth


Last Wednesday while my two sons and I were deer hunting near the Valley View Ranch we blew an upper radiator hose on our 85' diesel GMC surburban. We made it to the service station at Halloran Summit on Interstate 15, which runs between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. We got a hose and headed back to hunt. As we started up Cima Rd. I asked my sons if they wanted to visit some petroglyphs that were nearby. They are 14 & 15 yrs. old and I had never taken them to this spot even thought I have hunted the area for deer, rabbits, coyotes, quail. etc. for the past 30 yrs. After visiting the petroglyphs which are located on a lava flow near Lorene's cinder mine. I told my boys let's go up the road a few miles to see if the phone booth is still there. We did and sure enough even if vandals have broken all of the glass out of the sides of it the phone remains and it is intact. There is another booth like this in the area at the across the Mojave Nat. Preserve on Ivanpah Road near Interstate 40 about 15 miles south of the small town of Goffs I don't know the #, but the OX (pronounced oh x) cattle company's headquarters are located nearby. This phone booth has been there as long as I can remember.

i really hope you mean `85, not 85'

From: Bob Boehr

My name is Norm Boehr. About 2 weeks ago myself and a friend from work took a vacation together to the Mojave desert. I own a 4 wheel drive and we drove all around the Mojave National Preserve. I came across this phone booth and was amazed that it would be in the middle of nowhere. I saw your website written there and when I got home I looked it up. Maybe you do have too much time on your hands but it is an interesting story. My friend and I actually made a call from the other pay phone in the middle of nowhere. I just thought I'd email you and let you know that you aren't the only one to be amazed by this. By the way, I live in Vancouver, Canada and it's about 2000 km (how many miles is that) from me. I hope you may one day realize your dream and get that second phone booth out there. Good luck.


From: Ponyboy GirlieToolshed

I am happy to've brought you to ULTIMATE pointlessness - considering your adventures, I feel this to be a real honor.


(this one was forwarded to me by cardhouse dictator-for-life mark simple, who contacted the owner of the web page whose URL we found at the mojave phone booth)
Resent-from: Mark Simple (Cardhouse)
Resent-to: doc

From: Tom J
Organization: World Power Systems
To: Mark Simple (Cardhouse)
Subject: Re: Goodday to you, sir.

Mark Simple wrote:
> On our way to Burning Man 1997, my friend had planned a stop off at a
> remote phone booth in desert... armed with Sharpies, stickers, a tape
> recorder and cameras, we descended on it just after nightfall, to
> find, horror of horrors, a URL scribbled on it already.
It's at least two years old... I just read yr stuff -- good writing and funny! -- I camped behind the pile of cinders near the booth, having come up the back side from I40. I forget now, a more-southern entrance anyways, to the E. Mojave. About 10 - 20 mi. of nasty dirt roads; up a jeep trail, on top of the crest I ended up in the Aiken Mine. Imagine my surprise at finding a phone booth after 20 mi. of dirt roads... I camped amidst donkeys and cows. In the AM I find I'm only a few -- dozen?! -- miles from I15!

I really love the Mojave. I've been through lots of roads between 40 and 15 in my trusty Rambler (1963 wagon, burns LPG, sleeps two).

> So much for our plan. Read about it:
Excellent! It will induce me to write more.

I've also left droppings at Sand Mtn phone booth -- "the loneliest phone" -- on Rt 50 in NV, plus other places I forget now. A sign on Rt 60 in NM -- near Datil? My web site's been up since 93, so I had a head start :-) It

Your pages are very nice. Thank you and goodday.
Thank you, a true compliment from someone with a well-thought-out page.

From: "Rusty H. Hodge" Subject: A Phone Booth Fifteen Miles from Nowhere in the Mojave Desert

You got me all excited there for a while.

There was another phone in the middle of nowhere in the Mojave - on Lanfair road. It was at the intersection of 2 dirt roads. It's phone number was "Lanfair #9". Can't ring it all the time, tho, because it was a party line with some other people on it. Anyway, 8-10 years ago, it dissappeared; the concrete pad it was sitting on and the sign saying "Phone" are still there. I blame deregulation. :-) I have a picture of the intersection someplace; but this is after the phone was gone.

The Mojave is a strange place. I miss my frequent visits now that I've moved to SF.

From: Kathy Biehl
Organization: Cafe Compendium Subject: mojave madness

what struck me *most* about your phone booth story was that it sounded like stupidity I should have been in the middle of.

Good work, or something.

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