Uncle Albert (Don, a.k.a. Puddin’ Head), started his 10 year CB career,  when he became the proud recipient of an Archer "Space Patrol" walkie-talkie for Christmas in 1973. That radio was strictly limited to channel 14, and he initially only talked to his two next door neighbors.   Don lived about 7 doors down from me at the time, and I had known him since elementary school.  However, he didn’t run in the same circle of friends that I did.  I became aware of his presence when I was checking out the new crop of Christmas walkie-talkies on Channel 14, which he was a part of.  It wasn't long before I figured out who he was and I would then disguise my voice and play head games with him.  But when I’d return to my then home channel of 11, Don could still hear me, since his W/T had one of those wideband super-regenerative receivers which picked up every channel at once.  Since I couldn't effectively hide from him, he eventually figured out who I was.  In fact, he didn’t believe me at first when I told him that I was actually going to a different channel (since they sounded the same on his radio), and I actually had to show him my radio to prove it.  Then, the apparent shortcomings of his bottom of the barrel W/T, pushed him toward the desire to upgrade to a "better" Walkie-Talkie.   He soon upgraded to a Realistic TRC-25, 2 channel 100 mW W/T, and once free of the limitation of being stuck on channel 14, he joined us on Channel 11.  He took his handle "Uncle Albert" from the Paul McCartney song by the same name.  His choice of handle was somewhat ironic, as the term "Uncle" implies a older person. But Don had the youngest sounding voice of any of us at the time, with more than a few newcomers thinking he was actually a girl.  A month or two later, he bought a Midland 13-700, 1 watt 2 channel W/T, like the one I used.  Once he was on equal footing with me, signal-wise, he started becoming more aggressive.  At the time, he fancied himself as a radio D.J. and would frequently play Dickie Goodman radio lampoons and other music (he was a rabid Beatles fan), at the most inopportune times, which would effectively block my receive when I was trying to talk to other people. This would then lead to an on-air dispute, which would usually accomplish nothing constructive, and only seemed to drive him to do it more.  As a result, I tried to have at least one channel that he didn’t have, so that I could escape him when he was in one of his "moods".   

There were a handful of people, who stumbled into the CB radio hobby, that had certain personality "issues" and Don was no exception.  He had endured some complications during his birth, which rendered him blind in one eye, and nearly so in the other.  Like some people with disabilities, Don developed a major chip on his shoulder, and he would lash out if he felt that anyone was making fun of his situation, or for any other reason for that matter.  It wasn’t just me either, as Don would argue with just about anyone who rubbed him the wrong way at any given moment.  He was given the nickname "Puddin’ Head" after one such heated argument with Steve, and the name actually stuck, much to his chagrin.  Every once in a while, after one of his arguments, someone would show up at his front door to settle the score on a more "personal" level.  But Don would never come out, since wasn’t very big or muscular.  In fact, he was downright skinny and, probably also due to his birth issues, he was late going into puberty and he had a fairly high pitched "kid" voice, up until he was 16 or so.  Sometimes he used this to his advantage, as he used to frequently impersonate a female, just to stir up the truck drivers on the then-trucker channel 10.

In mid 1974, Don purchased a Midland 13-862B 23 channel radio from Henshaw’s, a big mail order radio outlet.  He also bought a second-hand Lafayette "Range Boost II" half wave ground plane antenna, from another local who had just upgraded to an A/S Starduster, to use as his base antenna.  At that point, he jumped ahead of me in both signal and channel capability, and that hastened my desire to get a 23 channel radio of my own. Having a stronger signal profile only served to further his arrogance.  As the result of his frequent arguments and on-air belligerence, Don would earn the dubious honor of being the only member of our group to have his coax cable cut.   But his moods ran hot and cold though, and he wasn't always a troublemaker.  When he was not involved in an argument, he was not that hard to deal with.  But since he could turn on you at any moment, our on-air relationship remained tenuous in the beginning.

But as the years went on though, Don mellowed out.  A situation which coincided, rather ironically, with his discovery of dope smoking.  In the later years, we had buried the hatchet and got along quite well on the radio.  He was actually pretty funny at times, even when he wasn't really trying, and his antics were the subject of a few audio clips.  His radio stable would eventually expand to include a Midland 77-882 (Which he later sold to me), which he purchased when 40 channel radios became legal in 1977.  Then finally, he bought a Johnson 4740 AM/SSB radio, which had been on closeout at Radio Shack for the rock bottom price of $99 at the time.  Because of our close proximity, and the propensity for major amounts of bleed over, Don usually hung out on the same channels as I did, right up until the end in 1984.

Today: Unfortunately, Don is no longer with us as he passed away tragically in 1984, as the result of a workplace accident, at the ripe old age of 24.  Impaired judgment due to drug use may have played a role, as did several apparent equipment safety violations by the company where he worked.  Ironically, for someone who started out as my worst adversary on CB, I truly missed his passing. Things would never be quite the same on the radio afterward.