A Virginian freight conductor who worked out of Mullens, West Virginia wrote a poem inside many of the call boxes he used. Ever the railroad's president saw them and once the two men met in a Mullens drug store. "Hello Shakespeare," the president said as a greeting to the man. The creative writing went as follows: "Old John Morgan, Conductor of his train. His head in the call box and his ass out in the rain."
Victoria, Virginia resident Harry McLaughlin was a Virginian passenger and freight conductor. He remembers these call boxes being at many places along the line; at each end of a passing siding and at stations. Often the operator at most stations did not work at night so a call box was the only way for a conductor to communicate with the dispatcher. Harry also tells that it was large so that a conductor could have working space to copy train orders. The phone was mounted on the left wall and had only two lines, one to the dispatcher and another to nearby stations in the division. Call Boxes on the mainline between Roanoke and Mullens had a third line, to the power director.