Al, AKA "Rebel", was another long time CB'er, who I first met in 1974.  He originally was a diehard sidebander, and hung out on the lower side of Channel 16.  He eventually met up with Whitey on Channel 16, and Whitey managed to whet his interest in AM operation.  Al soon started hanging out with our Channel 11 group, and then formed a splinter group of older guys on Channel 8, after he started to tire of the routine teenaged antics on 11.  Al was a somewhat solitary guy in his late 30's at the time, who still lived with his parents.  This living arrangement meant that Al had a decent amount of disposable income, so consequently,  he had the means to buy some fairly top of the line radio gear over the years.  When I first met Al, he was running a Cobra 135, but eventually he would end up owning an SBE Trinidad, a Hy-Gain 623,  a Colt Excalibur, a Cobra 132 Mobile, and a few others.  He also erected a tower and had a few different antennas over the years, including a A/S Super scanner, a PDL II, a 4 element yagi, and a Jo-Gunn 3 element beam.  Al also ran an assortment of amplifiers over the years as well, including a Kris Power Pump, a Palomar 200x, and a D&A Phantom.  One time, he fell asleep on the mic button for a couple of hours with the Phantom running. It was surprising that he didn't smoke the amp, but somehow it survived.  In the process, he managed to make a bunch of people upset on the channel as a result, a few of whom managed to track him down, but nothing serious ever became of it.  Al would fall asleep on the mike a few more times in his radio career, including once on 2 meters, with over 100 watts running.

 

Al held strong opinions on a variety of issues and would not hesitate to tell you how he felt about a particular subject, especially if he disagreed with your viewpoint.  Sometimes his strong opinions and apparent intolerance for opposing views, ended up alienating newcomers.  But those who knew him well, tended to overlook this as just the way he was.  On the other hand, he was also a bit of a "Lady's Man", and had several on-air flings with a few of the female regulars, more than one of which were married at the time.  He had a few close calls, but that never seemed to deter him.

 

Al stayed on CB throughout the 80's, except for a fairly short span of time when he actually got married and moved out of the house. He was out of radio until his short marriage broke up, and he moved back home.  He eventually ended up on 26.675 with what was left of our original group.  He eventually passed his ham license exam and moved up to 2 meters in the late 80's, when the rest of us moved up to ham radio.  Al became a big DX chaser for a while, and was consumed with this activity for quite a few years before finally discovering computers and the internet.  Initially, he had poo-poo'ed the idea of computers, and questioned the sanity of those who became consumed with them.  But then he got bit by the bug, and became in instant convert. 

 

Al and I agree that when comparing the relative fun that we've had with radio over the years, that our time on CB was definitely the most fun.  Ham radio, while interesting and fun in its own way, is a lot more "dry", and  a little more reserved. 

 

Today: Al is still somewhat active on Ham radio, although nowhere near what he once was. He works 2nd shift so we rarely cross paths over the air.  He has also contracted the infamous computer bug, and spends more of his leisure time on the computer and the internet, than he does on radio these days.

Update 2009: I recently ran across Al on Channel 37 LSB. I was shocked to say the least.  He's retired now and was thinking of moving south. But that remains to be seen.

 

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