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
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
QST, published December 1915 - present. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
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
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 of
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 Man.
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