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Provincetown Phone Booth Helps People Connect With Lost Loved Ones

PROVINCETOWN (CBS) -- Some emotional calls are being made from an old rotary phone booth on Bradford Street. Callers are connecting with loved ones they haven't spoken to in a while.

"I wanted to tell you that I got a couple of poems published," said one caller.

"Are you still gardening a lot and cooking? I miss your soup," said another caller.

"I'm sorry I didn't go to your funeral, but I just wanted to remember you," said caller Roxanne Layton, of Provincetown.

provincetown phone booth

It's called the "Phone on the Wind." It sits in the sculpture garden of the Provincetown Commons. The long distance calls are to those who have passed on.

"I didn't even know I remembered the phone number," Layton said. "And it just came out when I saw the dial. It's a pretty amazing way to deal with feelings. "

"It's really like opening a door to possibility," said Provincetown resident Kate Wallace Rogers.

"Even just talk about mundane stuff you know like a recipe that I tried or something," said Janine Evers of Provincetown.

The idea was inspired by a man in Japan who set up a similar booth 10 years ago to talk with his cousin who passed away.

provincetown phone booth

"I feel like the gift of the 'Phone on the Wind' is the intersection of art and death," said curator Dawn Walsh.

Walsh called together a group of local artists to bring the project to life.

"Looking forward to having folks who come to have a vacation here in the summer from far and wide to have experiences and encounters with 'Phone on the Wind' while they're here," Walsh said.

Inside it smells of cedar and is made of glass windows and doors so the caller doesn't feel isolated.

"It's a way to have a collective community experience of death and grief and loss so we don't have to carry those feelings around alone," Walsh said.

"Definitely it's a moment of connectedness I believe," said visitor David Chick.

provincetown phone booth

The booth's log shows more than 50 people and even some pets have made calls. Many people who have made calls said they'll be back to make some more. The phone booth will be in place through the summer.

A dedication is set for Saturday, Feb. 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Provincetown Commons.

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