Albert, who was also known by the handle "Nightowl", was a member of the Channel 13 group, which lasted from 1977 to about 1980, and he was also one of my closest CB friends during this period.  He was about 4 years older than me, and resembled actor Donny Most (Ralph Malph, of Happy Days fame). A fact which he got ribbed about on occasion. There was never a dull moment on the radio when he was around.  Albert had a great sense of humor, with just enough suspicion and tabloid-style CB paranoia thrown in the mix, to make his radio exploits interesting.  He could take the most innocuous random event, and spin it into some sort of fiendish "plot".  But by far, his best talent was in the creation of song parodies and short little "made-for-radio" comedy bits. Albert had a collection of sound effects and background music, which he could assemble to create almost professional sounding creations.  He was the originator of many of our on-air comedy bits and our frequent parodies of local CB'ers, who had exhibited certain "traits", which were worthy of lampooning.  Some of these "victims" were members of our own group, and many were people from other channels.  Some of them did not share the humor in their presentation, so consequently this would often become the source of a few on-air battles, including one portrayed in this audio clip. Albert referred to himself jokingly as the "General Manager of Channel 13", likening the channel group's hierarchy to that of a commercial radio station.  He later bestowed that honor on me and promoted himself to the title of "Secretary of Humor".  Albert and I got together at my house in the summer of 1979, and by pooling our collections of effects and equipment,  produced a wacky morning radio show.  Some of the bits from that show can be found here.

 

When it came to agitators and other interference issues, it was typically Albert and myself who looked into those suspicious radio activities, and exposed those more persistent agitators.  Between my R.F. knowledge, and his sharp instincts and observational skills, we made a really good team.  I remember one such incident where Albert had impersonated an F.C.C. engineer, in order to gather information about a person he had just tracked down.  This person was giving the channel grief one night and had put a rubber band over his mic button, and had transmitted a dead carrier for over 12 hours.  This person thought (wrongly) that because he was running an indoor antenna, that we wouldn't be able to find him.  Well, Albert tracked him down (I had to work, so I missed the fun) and then found out his name from a neighbor, who was all too willing to help the "F.C.C. man".  We then used his name and address to get his phone number (it was listed), and we called him.  Imagine his surprise when we "nicely" told him to knock off the carrier.  I don't think the guy's wife was too happy, as you could hear her yelling in the background while the rubber band was being hastily removed from the mic...... 

 

In sharp contrast to his jovial slapstick on-air personality, Albert also had another side.  His family were members of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and he was a part of that lifestyle as well.  He never preached or talked religion to any of us over the air (or in person for that matter), and he tried to separate his different lives as much as possible.  One time he practically ignored us, when we happened to bump into him in public while he was with his church members.  Despite all of that, we had a lot of fun together on the radio and on the various outings and road trips that we went on, including an especially memorable trip to Hershey Park, where we ran a 3 car caravan, and communicated with each other on class "C" channel "7A", (from then on referred to as "The Hershey Channel"). 

 

Albert's stable of radio equipment consisted of a Roberts 23 channel mobile, a Lafayette HB-640, 40 channel mobile, and a Lafayette Telsat SSB 50a.  On the AM radios, he use a Turner mobile +2 hand mic, and a D104 on the SSB 50.  He initially ran an indoor antenna, then upgraded to a Radio Shack 1/2 wave (Super Maxim) ground plane antenna.  When Albert's family moved away and he had to move into his own apartment, his CB'ing took a sharp decline, as he could no longer put up an outside antenna, and his weaker signal left him at a disadvantage when things got a little rough.  He would pop out of the woodwork on occasion though, and shock the heck out of me as recently as the late 80's.

Today: I saw Albert briefly in 1999, right before I moved.  He had said that he wanted to get back into radio, but we now live too far apart to communicate reliably, so I don't know if he ever did get back on.  Albert is married now, but I don't know if he has any kids.

Update 2009: I have been in contact with Albert occasionally via E-Mail. We live too far apart to use the radio now unless he put up a big antenna, which is unlikely. But judging from his nostalgic talk, he seems to miss the good old days....

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