YAKIMA, Wash. — The mobile phone’s officially middle-aged.
The first mobile phone call was made 40 years ago today. Back then, mobile phones were huge bricks — some of you may think of the phone Zach Morris carried around in the popular 1980s series “Saved by the Bell” — and took a long time to recharge.
Today, cellphones are much smaller and are used to do more than make phone calls. Chances are you’ve used your phone today to watch television shows on Netflix, play the latest version of the Angry Birds game or to get directions to your destination on Google or Apple Maps.
And while I’m at it, here is the story of my first cell phone.
Relatively speaking, I was a little behind on the cellphone trend. I spent my first two years of college calling friends at their dorm numbers. I used a pay phone to call my parents when I was out of town.
But after I finished my sophomore year at Western Kentucky University, my parents decided it was time for me to have a cell phone so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of installing a wired phone line for three months while I did my summer internship at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in Wisconsin.
So prior to leaving home, I went to the Cingular store — Cingular would later be purchased by AT&T — and got my first phone, a Nokia 5120.
I had that phone for more than four years. The phone traveled with me during trips across the Eastern U.S. I was able to easily keep in touch with my parents and friends while I completed internships in Minneapolis and Orlando. It was by my side when I took a year off after graduation to do a inner-city volunteer stint in Chicago.
And it was with me when I made the cross country trip from Louisville, Ky., to Yakima.
A few months after I moved to Yakima, I ditched the phone — and my Kentucky number — for a new model.
The Nokia phone didn’t do much besides make calls or allow me to play the snake game, but it was a reliable device.
What was your first cell phone? Tell us in the comments.