Monday, September 27, 2010

A Cute Cartoon

I found this cartoon in a 1963 publication by the Amateur Radio Relay League, "Understanding Amateur Radio"...I figured out that, after all these years, they wouldn't mind us using it.  I added the call letters to the side, of course!

I remember listening to the music my mother tuned in when I was a child...driving around in a '62 Buick Skylark, tuned to WKRG, 710 AM.  (WKRG went through several call letter changes, added FM and is today WNTM, Mobile, AL.  WKRG is still TV channel 5 in Mobile and the FM station is now WMXC on 99.9.)  Paul Anka, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and a host of others were the fare.  Then, when I was about 8 or 9 years young, I was introduced to a Top 40 station, WABB- and I was hooked!

From there, my love affair with radio took off.  I tuned all over the place, when I wasn't doing chores.  I got the old aforementioned green Zenith tube table radio and would tune around...stations with calls such as WLAC Nashville, TN, XELO Monterrey, Mexico, WWL New Orleans, LA, KMOO, Kansas City, MO and a whole host of others were hastily scribbled on sheets of notebook paper (I still have them!) and then....and THEN, one evening, "that" radio station that almost busted my speaker- KAAY- was THERE!  I thought they were local, until I heard the town of "Little Rock" announced.  I'd not previously heard of "Little Rock", but I knew it had to be close to Semmes, Alabama.  Then I got a road atlas...and realized it could have been the moon, it was so far away in my young mind....and fifty thousand watts?  It could have been a hundred million, I couldn't conceive it!

Later, as I began studying radio in general, wave propagation and such, it dawned on me how everything worked.  As I grew in my hobby, I operated as well: CB and Ham (amateur) radio, listened to shortwave and scanners, always looking for the new and unusual.  I'd also considered going to communications school and getting a job at WABB, but I noticed how many deejays came and went all the time- I had more roots down than I wanted to tear up....

As I'd mentioned before, I've always come back to the AM broadcast band.  Radio STILL has a magic to it, no matter how much or how little I understand it!

And it all began with a kid twiddling a dial....what a wonderful hobby it continues to be!

Bud S. (

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