A look back at your time with your pager in Tyler

Because it’s fun to reminisce about the days of yore, I thought it would be fun to go down a nostalgia hole today. This flashback began with a New York story. This story got me thinking back to the late 90s and even early 2000s of a complement to the cell phones of the time. And if you had one, you were a big deal.

Earlier this week in New York City, the last two payphones installed on the street were removed. These phone booths, located on 7th Avenue, will now be part of the Museum of the City of New York in an Analog City exhibit. And while these payphones are the last of their kind, there are still a number of payphones on private property in New York City, as well as four phone booths that look like the ones Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent would jump into to transform into. Superman.

Read this story took me back to the late 90s, not when I had a cell phone, but when I had a pager. For children reading this story, a pager was a device as small as a business card or as big as a giant poker card. I needed a picture of a pager and was talking to my colleague Lucky Larry about it. He said wait a second and came back with the item below:

Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media

Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media

He still had the pager that our company had issued to him many, many years ago. This one is about the size of a business card. We put a brand new AAA battery in it and it’s still on. Sure, there was no service, but hearing that startup sound was very nostalgic.

There was a phone number attached to the pager that your friends would call from a cell phone, if they had one, or a landline which was most common. You would then enter your number which would then be sent to the pager for you to call back.

From there, you either have to go to the nearest landline or find a payphone, like on the wall in Broadway Square Mall next to JC Penny, and call your friend back. You can also send short text messages through the pager.

You were the “it kid” at school if you had one too. Especially if it was a box with a translucent color case. I remember having a bruise like this. I remember having one in my first two years at the station in the early 2000s that was as big as a giant poker card. It beeped me if the broadcast tower went down or if there was some kind of severe weather.

It was a cool trip down memory lane. For those of a certain age reading this, I hope this has taken you down this path and put a little smile on your face.

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