The Montgomery County CB Club

 

 

The Montgomery County CB Club (MCCC) was a public service and social club formed by the members of the Channel 6 group. The club was formed sometime in 1976 as a conduit for group activities, parties and other social events, and also to provide public service using CB radio if needed.  The club was basically the glue which kept the channel group together. With both adults and teenagers (many of whom were family units) as members of the club, there was a certain amount of peer pressure to keep our on-air antics down to no higher than a "PG" level, and also to respect certain operating protocols.  The founders set up the rules to conform to the common form of parliamentary procedure, with a written charter, by-laws, a leadership hierarchy, a board of directors, and various committees as needed.  To be eligible for an elected office, you had to be at least 21 years of age, or 19 for a seat on the board of directors.  I guess it was felt by the adults, that the teenagers in the group lacked the maturity to responsibly follow the strict protocol and adhere to the rules. They were probably right.....  The club would meet once a month at a local library, where we would hold a formal meeting with the president taking charge, and we followed a serious agenda of discussing old business, followed by new business. After the serious business was completed, there was a refreshment period, and things relaxed  a bit and devolved into small talk, and some horseplay by the younger members.

I'm not sure who were the initial people responsible for promoting the idea of the club, as I didn't join until the fall of '76 after recently making myself at home on Channel 6.  At that time the club was still finalizing its initial charter and by-laws.  In retrospect, it seemed that the officers of the club and, by extension, the rules committee spent an inordinate amount of time discussing the nuances and the fine details of the rules. Most of us younger people would glaze over during these discussions, as we were just not that interested in the formality of crossing every "T" and dotting every "i" in a seemingly endless string of club rules.  To us, these daunting procedural debates were the participatory equivalent of valium.  But in hindsight, it was this strict insistence on formality which was probably the reason why this club was successful, at least in the beginning, compared to earlier attempts at clubs that I was associated with.  But despite this tendency to dwell on the more serious business, the meetings weren't all boring.  Much of the time was spent discussing upcoming social activities and CB radio issues. The club sponsored a Halloween party, a Christmas Party, bowling outings, a volleyball league, camping and canoe trips, monthly transmitter "fox" hunts", and other impromptu activities.  The money to offset most of the costs for these activities was raised by club dues, 50/50 raffles (Including this), and other fund raisers.

I enjoyed many of the activities that the club provided. My favorites were the canoe and camping trips, and the Christmas parties. The volleyball league was also a lot of fun, and I have many memories of the fun relating to the games we played, which were held at a local Catholic school and church.  One especially clear memory involved one such game, where I was parked nearby watching the activity.  Naturally I was operating the radio, and at the time I had my Lafayette HA-250 amp running as well. I don't remember the specifics of the conversation, but I remember that it was somewhat "R" rated. The next thing I know, the church priest comes over and informs us that "someone" (me) was coming over their loudspeaker system during their Wednesday service. I felt real small, with the mental picture of a bunch of strict, uptight religious people,  sitting there with burning ears, after having their service "spiced up" by my off-color radio antics. It was not my proudest moment.

The club lasted for about 4 years. The last couple of years saw a slow but gradual decline in membership, until it was no longer worth the trouble to keep going. Activity on Channel 6, which was our main recruitment tool for the club,  had waned after many of the teenagers graduated from high school and moved on to college and, along with that, the decline of the mother's morning "coffee chats",  which had been a regular occurrence.  A few of us had already moved on to Channel 13 as a result of the lack of activity, and this only exacerbated the problem.  This first clue that the end was near came when we could no longer come up with viable candidates to run for the various elected offices. Those who had already served were a bit tired of the responsibility, and there were few eligible adults who wanted the extra responsibility. There was also some internal strife which started when a set of recommendations from the board of directors was overruled, which led to a whole debate on the relative worth of having the board at all, and ended with the whole board resigning. In a sad twisted irony, the strict formality which the club had adopted as a glue to keep it together, would  become the wedge that helped to drive it apart in the end.

Those of us who remained until the end, enjoyed one last Christmas party in 1979. And with it, another chapter in CB life ends.