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What's a Hallicrafters Super Skyrider doing at the bottom of Willowkill Reservoir?
Think less ham radio and more Headless Horseman.
Willowkill - First Book is a spooky new iBook just in time for Halloween, co-authored by Oliver Hennessy and J.D. Murray, who just so happens to be OM Jeff K1NSS. Available now, only at the Apple Bookstore, this is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a ghost story that begins one lovely evening in August 1957, when a boy learns that his family country house in the Catskill Mountains will be drowned by a reservoir project.
Willowkill - First Book is a gateway tale linked to his lost world at Willowkill.com. If you're old enough, you may remember a similar childhood, and you're welcome to savor its bittersweetness and golden light, rendered in loving detail. Just be aware, the flood is coming and the darkness is growing. And should you choose to go deeper into Willowkill, you're on your own.
It figures, huh?
Willowkill is something completely different, from the same Old Man.
Old, New & Improved Kinda Sorta.
Seven years ago we looked back on the lost world of parent and child parallel universes. It's hard to imagine an engaged helicopter parent of today, in effect, kinda sorta stomping on the head of a child improving himself with educational playthings. No big deal though. No psyches were damaged, at least no dings you couldn't knock out with a little therapy and nice set of auto body hammers and dollies and feather up smartly with a bucket of Bondo. Oh yeah. Tough Love. Like the Book of Changes, the I Ching, that good old ancient Chinese Eight Ball always says to just about everything, NO BLAME.
Annoying, yes. But it also struck me funny at the time and still does. The experience itself was educational, in the sense that I began to appreciate the warm absurdity of human relationships, as well as get about the ridiculous business of worshipping electronic boxes arranged in a little altar in the basement, abandoning myself to the mystery cult that is amateur radio.
Still abandoned after well over fifty years, I marvel how little about my situation has changed, but for a mop of white hair, a lack of somebody stomping on the ceiling, and a lot more desktop devices.
Hmm. Well, now that I think about it, to jigger my favorite Lou Reed pronouncement, maybe these ARE different times after all, at least a little. Let's compare and contrast a painterly sketch of your 'umble cartoonist made a few years ago by an artist friend. There's a portrait too, but I like the way this is just the facts Ma'am.
Instead of a young dog-faced ham sitting in front of boxes in the semi-darkness, to these eyes it looks like an Old Man staring into a couple of institutional-sized cartons of saltines. Otherwise, six of one, half dozen of another I'd say. In fact, the smaller box is my old Knight Kit T-50 transmitter and the other is my old Hallicrafters SX-28 Sky Buddy receiver, both of which I've sold since this was sketched. Yeah, I've got some other radio boxes left, plus a mess of computer boxes through which I draw, but you know how it is with boxes...you sit with them until you can't any more. Isn't that a funny-odd-haha-all-but lifetime arc for a dog-faced old ham?
Sit Jeff, sit.
That's what we do, we guess...and that's no royal we, that's me and my loyal, if imaginary, ham radio pal Dashiell Hammutt, AKA Dash!
Above all, we aim to please. And we hope you find Dashtoons' Pre-Fall Double Feature Deep Dish Navel-Gaze entertaining in some strange way. Which, if you think about how solitary, introspective and downright idiosyncratic in a good/bad but not generally ugly way our hobby tends to be, might well feed an insatiable pent-up demand for windy self-referential reflection not met by Big Ham Media, not that there's anything wrong with them.
And not to worry, we're not a cookbook. As ever, Dashtoons is here to Serve Hams.
Well, maybe not every single one. You know, like that one charmer who speed-walked past our Dash!Comics hamfest table, pointedly avoiding eye contact and shaking his head.
But we got a strong feeling he'll come around.