Reach Out and Touch Someone

A small dust devil formed as heat from the ground flew up like a chimney into the morning cool. It danced its way between a maze of greasewoods, erasing the little path of letter J’s left by a sidewinder rattler in search of prey the night before. The Kangaroo Rat that had escaped from the rattler was just closing the entrance to its burrow in hopes of a morning of promiscuity with a few of the many females hiding below when the dust devil caught it by surprise. The wind was strong enough to send it tumbling out a few feet into the open ground.

As the vortex dissipated, a red-tail hawk flew overhead. The exposed rodent had just opened its eyes when he saw the talons of the raptor inches away. He jumped and the claws closed only on air. He hopped again and again to avoid being eaten, randomly, like a locust, and he finally landed in some cheat grass at the base of a gangly teddy bear cholla.
The cactus wren inside the cholla was not pleased and began its characteristic complaining. The Kangaroo Rat scrambled out, hopped marvelously again and hid behind a Joshua tree near the base of a cinder cone that had been mined out 50 years ago.

And so it usually went, variations on this quiet theme since time immemorial, with little disturbance here in the high desert. In the middle of nowhere, with nature taking its course.
And then, one morning, a telephone rang and the silence was broken.

The next morning, it rang again.
And it rang for 24 days.

On the 25th day, June 20, 1997, it rang again. This time, someone answered it.

The legend of the most remote telephone booth in America, the Mojave Phone Booth, had begun.

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