Friday, November 4, 2011

Flashback Friday # 161

CB Radios

Hello, It's nice to see you again (even if I really can't because you are looking at you computer screen and I am probably doing something else while you are reading this). Are you ready to look back at people you don't know and places that you've never been? Good. Let's get started.

One of the big fads of the late 70's-early 80's was CB radios. In reality it really wasn't a fad because it was actually useful, unlike pet rocks, mood rings and streaking. A CB radio was your "cell phone" when travelling. You could converse with those who just came from where you were going to check weather, traffic and the location of Highway Patrol vehicles.

Dad jumped into this with both feet. He had a CB in all of our vehicles. Dad's friend who had bought our pool table told Dad about a CB Radio club that he had joined. I need to mention that this friend was a truck driver. Dad had to join too. He also got Mom to sign up. Other than meeting and eating the main thing this club did was to man what was called a "coffee break". You've probably seen the trailers at freeway rest stops that offer coffee, lemonade and snacks to truck drivers. That's what a "coffee break" was. If a driver was getting tired, he could pull in and get a cup of coffee & some conversation.

I mentioned previously that CBs were the cell phones of their day. One of the big differences was you had to have a license to operate a CB. Each license came with call letters. Dad's call letters were KBE-3628. It's funny, I can remember this, but I have to ask my wife what her phone number is (it's speed dial #2 on my phone).

Everyone also had a "handle", or nickname to be known by. Dad's was "Short Stick" (I am not making this up). Mom's was "Brown Eyes". They even had CB club jackets with these names monogrammed on them.It was common for someone to have the same handle that you had. Generally, if someone asked if I was So & So from Whatever City I would come up with a new handle.Now I am known as Sir Nottaguy-Imadad. Back the I was PB Kid. PB Kid was the one I had longest. I've never met another Sir Nottaguy-Imadad.

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