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A few weeks ago we were in the market for some rock for our yard. I came across somebody on the Lopez Island message board offering free garden rock. For contact information, they left four digits, which had me a little perplexed. A few days after that, I struck up a conversation with a fellow dad at the skate park. As we shook hands and said goodbye, he gave me his name and telephone number. Four digits. At that point I had to ask how I could actually call him with just that information. Apparently Lopez Island has only one prefix, 468. Lopezians assume you know what that is when they give you their number. That’s how small this island is. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this secret island code. I guess the phenomenon is analogous to somebody who’s not on twitter not knowing what to do with @timfry if I were to give them my twitter handle. I’ve been speculating what I might be missing out on by not being part of the 468 club. As I leave voice mails for plumbers, electricians and the septic tank guy, part of me wonders if they’ll de-prioritize calling me back because I’ve left my 10-digit cell phone number (we’ve never had a land line at Fry Lodge Mud Bay). Another part of me just wants to belong. I mean, I’ve already adapted my wardrobe to the island, why not adopt the communication conventions? So, today, after much debate, Kristine and I signed up for land line service at Fry Lodge. Email us – We’ll give you our [four] digits.

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About Tim Fry

Tim is a global communications consultant. He has a background in storytelling, opinion research, brand campaigns and product launches for clients big and small. He has been recognized with several industry awards, including Ad Age’s “40 under 40” and PR News' "15 to Watch." Tim has a bachelor of science degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. When he's not helping people tell their best stories, you're likely to find him riding his bike, kayaking or catching Dungeness Crab on Lopez Island, WA. He can be reached at tim_fry@hotmail.com.
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