As of today, the first phone number I ever knew/had is being shut off. That phone number was active in Paxton, Illinois, for the better part of three decades—and yes, we did have a rotary phone there when I was a kid. Back then, we only had to dial five digits for an in-town call. When the lifeguards at the Paxton Pool or the secretary at Clara Pete asked for our number to call for our ride home, we’d just say, “2-2798.”

Dial that number now, and all I hear is silence.