The Young Squirt's Fourth Epistle to the Old Man
December 1935 QST Article
the works to my bottle." Any idea what that means? Neither did I. "You
went out just like a Swedish match in a Kansas hurricane..." Ever heard
that saying? Neither had I. I never knew
Swedish matches had a reputation for easily going out. I never knew
the swedes made matches. Evidently the tech jargon in 1935 was a bit
different than today. This story from QST will introduce you to many
new terms with a
short read. The guy in the story looks a lot like the Ham in the 2013
Field Day patch (sans specs).
December 1935 QST
of Contents]These articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of the
ARRL's QST magazine. Here is a list of the
QST articles I have already posted. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged.
See all available
vintage QST articles.
The Young Squirt's Fourth Epistle to the Old Man
Well, you old mossbacked greybeard, I ain't been hearing much from you
of late, and I about decided that you ain't finding nothing rotten to
yell about. Guess the game is too fast for you. Putting that infernal
old Betsy up in the attic along with all the other relics must have
put the skids under you. I hope so. I bet you ain't even got up a stick.
ain't nothing wrong with radio now, I guess. The only thing that ever
was wrong was giving space in QST to those snorts and bellows of yours.
That Wouff Hong you sent Eddie Warner hasn't been down off the wall
since 1921. That's a pretty good sign, ain't it, old Methuselum? Since
you quit blowing the pole transformer every Saturday night and making
sparks hop across inside my Audiotron, the game has became jake for
me, and if you never get back on the air again, that will be too soon.
You went out just like a Swedish match in a Kansas hurricane as soon
as CW come along, and that is one reason CW is such an improvement.
I been thinking about you ever since the other night. There
was something mighty gosh-darned suspicious that has been worrying me,
and the more I think about it the madder I get until I could bite a
plug out of a nine-foot rattlesnake. You never was able to pull the
wool over my eyes none, you old petrified fossil.
One of these
Old Timers dropped in the other night while I was throwing the works
to my bottle. The glow from my plate, which showed it was working good,
causes this Pelican to get off a few wise yelps about power output.
According to him, the only fellows who know anything about getting the
high-powered snorts out of a jug were graduated from spark. This didn't
get no rise out of me because I had a squeak box with an E. I. Co. electrolytic
interrupter, as you well remember, but his next remark made me sore
enough to kick the step-ins off of a tree full of wildcats. He ups and
says that since the old timers are coming back in the game it is getting
better, and that all it needs to be a hunnered percent is for the Old
Man to get back in so there will be law and order. Just as soon as he
said that, everything turns red in front of me and I bit the wrong end
off my El Ropo, which didn't help to calm me down none.
that happens, I says, I am going to move to Siberia. This oily lamp
raises his eyebrows and says that would be the right place for mosquitos
who use bug keys on red-hot plates. I inferred by that he was talking
about me, since I had been holding my dot lever closed while doing some
testing, which made my signals sound commercial. I began right away
to feel heat radiating out of every pore, and quick as a 28-megacycle
oscillation I yelled back you are a visitor around here otherwise I
would lose no time in telling you the right place for you to go, and
at this he grates out a laugh, and his eyebrows wiggled up and down
just like yours did when I used to get off a rejoiner you couldn't think
up no reply to.
How come, he says, you are using no filter on
this haywire? Do you think just because the Old Man is not arrund close
that you can get by with that? I let out a yell, I was so mad. Who do
you think you are, I screamed, I can comb the burrs out of that old
dingfritter's foliage any time he comes around. Oh, yeah, son? he grunts,
wiggling his eyebrows up and down rapid, them are large words for a
little gnat like you. The Old Man would waste no time immersing your
hide in some good hot transformer oil.
At this I hauled off
and kicked the top shelf out of the rig. You are talking so big, take
off that overcoat and that muffler you got wrapped around yore gills
so I can have more area to plaster, you desiccated sardine, I yelled.
He laughed sarcastic. You forget I am a visitor, he said. One well-directed
Rettysnitch takes all the sap out of little horseflies like you, and
I am going to watch you pretty close from now on.
At this point
I began to roll around on the floor to calm myself, meanwhile kicking
a pair of 866' s over the transom and putting both feet through a couple
Your ilk, he said, getting up, are just the sort
that gum up the air, and if you are hankering after trouble, just go
on the air again without a filter, son. With that be moves toward the
door. And another thing, he adds, don't say anything against the Old
I snatched up a book, which was the nearest thing in reach,
and threw it at him so hard I slid under the bed and got all tangled
up in some wire. He ducked and I heard him grunt as he picked it up:
"Wireless Course in Twenty Lessons," he grated. You ain't changed none.
And then he was gone before I could get untangled and give him the piece
of my mind that I had been holding in reserve. But here's the point:
That old fossil could have passed for you, he was so dad-ratted
onery. If he had taken off that muffler I could have then noted whether
he had yore foliage. What I want to know is, was it you? If it was,
just remember that you will have to grow up some more before you can
get the best of me in an argument, and this Sherlock Holmes stuff ain't
going to get you nowhere. I can put it over you like a tent, just like
I did this time.
THE YOUNG SQUIRT