Mitch (a.k.a. The Shadow, and unit 242), was a good friend and a partner in "crime" on the CB beginning in 1974, and lasting until the early 80's. I had known Mitch from the time that we were in elementary school. Shortly afterward, he moved out of my neighborhood and I lost track of him until Jr. High school. It was during our subsequent Jr. High reunion, that he mentioned to me about his general interest in radio and his experimentation with walkie-talkies. I was excited that he shared my interest in radio, but I didnít think that I could reach him from my house, as I was under the impression that he lived beyond the advertised "1 mile" maximum range that 100 mW units generally had (I would find out later that he was actually only a little over a half mile away as the crow flies), so I didn't give much thought to being able to reliably talk to him from my house. I was therefore understandably surprised (as was he) when I happened across him on Channel 11 unexpectedly shortly after Christmas, in the early part of 1974. I was using my newly acquired 1 Watt Midland walkie-talkie, and Mitch was running a Midland 100 mW 3 channel with a network of outside wire antennas connected to it. Considering what he was running, he was doing pretty well. At that time, Mitch was using the handle of Red Devil and he soon joined our expanding group. As the new group set up shop on Channel 11, Mitch soon befriended another local; Dead Soldier (John), who had a sort of CB dealer franchise (I say "sort of", because his sales volume was small and he ran it out of his house), who then lent Mitch an assortment of old tube rigs and other fixer uppers to use so that he could put out a better signal. Mitch changed his handle to Green Hornet sometime in this time period. Eventually, he saved up enough money to purchase an SBE Trinidad, which he picked up sometime in late 1974 or early 1975, when most of us had managed to upgrade from walkie-talkies to full fledged 23 channel radios. Mitch made one last change in handles, taking "The Shadow" for his final handle. During this formative period of time we had many interesting conversations over the radio, as well as taking part in the inevitable battles with those people who we didn't get along with. Typically it was Mitch and myself, who took on most of the troublemakers who stumbled across our home channel, and stood up for our "right" to be on the radio against some of the local adults who felt differently. Mitch was involved with most of our radio-related escapades and activities, including DF hunts, Explorer Post 621, the 1976 Explorer Road Rally and, of course, the seemingly endless channel politics and conflicts which eventually led to the formation of a group we called C.A.S.H. (Carriers And Sideband Harassment). This acronym, which Mitch had coined, referred to our "secret" group of select people who's mission it was to surreptitiously pay back those members of other channel groups, who had taken some issue with us, or who otherwise gave us grief. In the fall of 1975, our group would move to Channel 10, and Mitch led the way in dispatching "squatters", and stray truck drivers who had not yet heard of the national truckers move to Channel 19.
During his tenure on the CB band, Mitch also ran some interesting antennas, including a homebrewed dual "trik-stik" dipole array, which worked as a bi-directional beam depending on which antenna he switched to. He eventually dumped that setup in favor of the mac-daddy of all omni directional antennas at the time, a Hy-Gain Penetrator. He would use this antenna for his remaining time on a base station, while also trying to further enhance his signal with such gimmicks as the "Salt Grid Ground". Considering that Mitch lived in the end unit of an apartment complex, it was surprising that he was allowed to erect outside antennas at all. I guess he got lucky in that respect. His Penetrator would eventually get hit by lightning (You shouldíve seen what it did to the gamma match!). But by that time, Channel 10 was on a downswing and Mitch, having recently acquired his driver's license, resigned himself to becoming strictly mobile, and had traded in his SBE for a Gemtronics GTX-36, 23 channel mobile radio. It was now the late summer of 1976 and Mitch started pal'ing around more with Jimmy, and would frequently accompany him on his mobile agitation "missions". When Channel 10 finally died, and I moved on to Channel 6 in the early fall, Mitch and Jimmy were caught jamming that channel, and were banned from joining the CB club. This caused a rift between Mitch and myself which lasted for nearly a year. But by the time I had settled on Channel 13 in late 1977, Mitch and I were friends again. Mitch would hang on-and-off the CB throughout the late 70ís, but he didn't hang around the area much longer. Once he had graduated from high school in 1977, he got a job with a computer company who then transferred him to their office in Michigan for a spell. He would pop into town for occasional visits during that time, and eventually he returned to the home turf for the long term.
During this time, Mitch had also developed an affinity for "lead sled" automobiles, especially Lincoln town cars. So when he finally came back from Michigan, it was no surprise to see him driving one. Mitch also had a brief resurgence in CB in the early 80ís, after purchasing a Royce 40 channel SSB mobile rig, but he eventually faded away around 1983, which was also the last time I saw him. Much of the reason we lost contact had to do with his work schedule, and our group's recent relocation to 26.675, which Mitch didn't have. So opportunities to run across him on the radio were severely curtailed.
Today: Since starting this website, I have become interested in tracking down some of my old radio friends. I had heard through a mutual friend that Mitch had gotten as far as obtaining a novice class ham license, (which had expired in 1998) but there was no evidence that he ever pursued radio any further. Internet searches have revealed that he is now living in California, and he now works as a senior director of marketing for a high tech computer equipment firm.
Update: Perseverance has finally paid off, as I have finally managed to contact Mitch and we're in the process of playing 20 year catch-up. We've also managed to get together in person a couple of times when he's flown east for vacations. This mini reunion has been fun, and will likely intensify my desire to find the rest of the "old gang". Mitch is now talking about organizing a reunion of the old timers we knew from back then, so we'll see how this pans out.