Those calling the Isabela vicinity home may recall the horn honking patterns—so many toots and so many spaces identified individual drivers.
We lived almost across the street from Juan Mendez, a house or two north. We hadn’t been there many days before I became aware of a correlation between cars and the honks—an audio ID, so to speak. It wasn’t just in Isabela. It was everywhere on the island.
Once, while chatting with our school teacher/landlord, Andrew, he announced the first name of the person passing by, and did so without so much as a glance toward Isabela Avenue. I asked him how they always got the honk right.
He smiled and explained that the drivers replaced the horn button with a rotary telephone dial, wiring the appropriate contacts for the desired toots and spaces.
As they approached a friend’s house they simply dialed zero and the honk was always the same.