1997 CAWS Convention key chain phone book

By Ruby C., Roy, UT

Before there were cell phones or electronic personal digital assistants (PDAs), how did we keep track of everybody’s phone number? Pen and paper. We kept lists of names and phone numbers in elaborate address books, small pocket-sized notepads, papers taped to the wall by the phone, small papers tucked into wallets. . . . . . . or we just had to memorize everybody’s phone number.

This great little piece of convention memorabilia gave us a compact and portable way to keep many phone numbers close at hand. When standing at a pay phone calling a sponsor was still a very normal activity for many of us in the late 90s, this key chain phone book was awesome. It was easy to lean against the side of the phone booth, hold the phone between ear and shoulder, use one hand to find the phone number and the other hand to dial. This was also before call waiting, call forwarding or voice mail. If the number we called was busy or no one answered, it was vital to have a long list of phone numbers. Many old-timers have stories of dialing 10 or more numbers before someone would answer and they got the relief that came from talking with another recovering addict.