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Born in France in 1914 and baptized Capucine by a prosperous if surnameless family of Lyon bakers, a jeune fille discovered her loving knack for edible representations of this and that, which is to say pretty much anything but one more damn baguette.

At first chance she ran away to Paris, changed her name in rapid succession from just Capucine to just Miou-Miou before finally settling on just CiCi. That resolved, the headstrong young practitioner of comestible plastic arts brazenly rattled gastronomic cages on both sides of the Seine until she secured an apprenticeship with Auguste Escoffier's personal marzipan sculptor in 1930.

Sometime during this period, perhaps while straying from the rue Coquillière cooking supplies district to the nearby rue Galène radio supplies district in search of inspiration, CiCi conceived of marzipan candy fashioned as resistors, capacitors, inductors and other wireless components -- which in certain progressive youthful circles were iconic of a new mode of magic that made Merlin's seem like so many parlor stunts.

Sadly, the anachronistic Salon de Marzipan rejected CiCi's radical designs. Accustomed to miniature marzipan pears and putti, her superiors had no patience or praise for precise almond paste replicas of radio parts, no matter how much they cried out for 90 volts of B+.

CiCi pretended to give up, returning to pears, putti and miniature marzipan dead ducks, ever popular for hunting lodge centerpieces. She knocked out the schlock for five long years, saving her wages and secretly building entire superheterodyne receivers out of marzipan, right down to itty-bitty tunable marzipan IF slugs.

By 1936 CiCi found herself triumphantly sailing into New York harbor, straining to see Cortlandt Street from the deck of the SS Île de France. She knew just where she was going because in all the world she belonged no place more than Radio Row.

Not alone, she was. At that moment, another dreamer under an assumed name, a skinnybones busker was looking for a place to set up along Cortlandt Street. He tentatively dropped his hayseedy kit at number 73, storefront of Kaplowitz The Capacitor King. Slouched in the open doorway was a young man with a full head of hair and a jazzy air, lightly plucking a standup bass, biding time until his first customer of the day.

"Friend..." the cheapsuited hick doffed his fedora and extended his hand. "I'm a Knight of the Road they call Sir Hugh Mann-Radio."

"They call me Kappy," smiled the bassist, nodding his head toward an empty folding chair by the storefront steps. "Hey Sir Lancelot, why dontcha take a load off and listen to this?"

At last CiCi knew she was among those who understood. Here, her raison d'etre required no explanation.






Hams of Tomorrow

While all we hams are airborne, some hams are already in space. Astronauts and Cosmonauts for sure, but plenty of Terrestrial hams now joyride the radio space lanes, and plenty more look on enviously. So I ask you, are we not Hams of Tomorrow?

Just like Sun Ra always said, Space is the Place. Our hemoglobin runs hot with hamanifest destiny. Our hopes fly with every mission to Mars. Our hearts, young and old, to a ham, ache for new worlds of novelty and wonder, untracked as a front lawn after a blizzard, waiting for our snow angels.

Are you with us?

If you are, Hams Of Tomorrow welcomes you aboard. Our booster is heavy. Our spirits are high. And our countdown is now in progress.

HOT stuff.

Like, where else but



Hugo Gernsback was so far ahead of his time he made completely serious fun of himself, something like a proto-Andy Kaufman, only with headphones instead of ascots and wrestling trunks.

In this starling remembrance by Buzzer All-Night Radio Lunch Wagon proprietor Buzzy Buzzer - Gernsback's closest confident during those crazy days and nights on lower Manhattan's fabled Radio Row, we plumb the depths. With Buzzy leading the way, we dive deep into Gernsbackian secrets that lie beneath those streets yet today, the mystery cultic Dionysian wellspring of our modern wireless world.

Yes, in addition to publishing scores of magazines about radio, TV, shortwave, DXing and electrical experimentaton during the earlier 20th century, Gernsback also published "Sexology," a purportedly serious mag about...well, look it up. No judgement here, we just don't work blue, if you know what we mean, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

And by the way, if you think the above reference is gratuitous, just look into Jack Parsons, the J. P. namesake of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the pioneer solid rocket fuel formulator, the guy who dreamed up JATO bottles.

Never mind feet of clay, but of course, Techno Seekers are of the flesh as much as any of us. They think a lot, and not always about rocket fuel and variable capacitors.

Not for nothin', stay tuned.

When Buzzy talks, nobody walks.