Mountain Musings




It seems our 909 area code is getting overcrowded and is about to burst at the seams, so it seems that some folks will be getting a fresh new area code, if a request from the North American Plan Administrator (NAPA) (I thought they sold auto parts) is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).


I know, all this sounds complicated, but the new area code, 840, will be what’s called an “overlay,” which will only affect new folks who move into the IE.


NAPA, by the way, was formed back in 1940 by AT&T to manage telephone numbering, since there are scant prefixes left from which to choose. The next thing you know, we’ll run out of license plate numbers.


Of course, none of this is going to happen until NAPA and CPUC figure out how to implement the new area code overlay. I suppose the IE street gang members will need to update their 909 tattoos to the new area code if they’re new to the area. This could result in gang warfare between the 909 gangs and their new area code overlay rivals. No problem for me, I’ll still be a 909er.


Perhaps there should be a contest to choose a new overlay area code.


Good luck to the new mountain area arrivals; they’ll be in the new overlay area code designation. If this plan is approved, we may need to dial an area code to call our next-door neighbor. I wonder if they will charge us for a long-distance call? The good news is that 909 customers will be able to keep their current phone numbers.


“Operator, well could you help me place this call? See, the number on the matchbook is old and faded. She’s living in L.A. with my best old friend Ray, a guy she knew well and sometime hated. Isn’t that the way it always goes?” (“Operator” – Jim Croce – 1972)


Area code 909, which was introduced in 1992, replaced 714, which had previously served most of Southern California. Back in the early 60s, when 714 was introduced, it was a big deal, because there were no other area codes anywhere in the U.S. At that time, my Dear Old Dad, who was district engineer for Pacific Telephone for the 714 area – which encompassed Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono counties – was sent to speak to Lions and Rotary Clubs and other community organizations throughout the area to explain what was then called Direct Distance Dialing (DDD) (or as Dad called it, “Damn, Damn, Damn”).


In the meantime, back in the day it used to be long distance from Crestline to call Jenny in Running Springs at “867-5309, 867-5309…” (“Jenny” – Tommy Tutone – 1981). (By the way, that number has been permanently retired from service, so don’t bother calling it)


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott