HamYoot! FIELD GUIDE
All Geezer Hams
Are One of These.
1: The Walters
You know the type.
They grew up emulating one of amateur radio's most famous operators.
Yep, that one, the original Old Man of the World. Urbane. Well-dressed. Well- spoken, able to intelligently converse on almost any topic, with everyone from kings to cosmonauts to the dumbo next door. One look at this OM and you'd trust him with your car keys and your damn Reddit password. Look around any hamfest and you'll spot many examples of this dignified yet most natty and very friendly species of Geezer.
2. The Wild Ones
Dangerous. Unpredictable. In love or lashing out, one thing's for sure. They're hip as hell and in no mood.
In high school these coolest of hams always ran with a fast crowd. Their radio role model was leader of an iconic Hollywood rat pack of rougue ham operators with a penchant for yelling "Stella!" at all hours and canoodling in Tahiti while a multi-million dollar film crew was left to pound sand.
At hamfests and club meetings, you can often spot these Wild Ones, not listening to anybody with a visceral intensity popularized among Tinseltown hams by Method Acting coach Lee Strasberg in the mid-20th century. Of course, after decades of busting heads with pool cues at rock concerts, it could well be a matter of a dead hearing aid battery.
Like their "Ramblin' Old Man" personas, their attire runs to the raffish. Distressed leather fanny packs, shirts unbuttoned to the second button down, you know the drill.
3. The Wing Nuts
There remains a shadowy trace population of amateur radio operators who were profoundly influenced by a popular Saturday morning TV kids show broadcast during the 1950s and 60s.
Andy's Gang, hosted by ham/long time movie and television character actor Andy Devine, starred a rubber squeaky frog who was summoned by the incantation "Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy."
This program was the strangest thing in the world.
It was and it will be. Forever. That's for...and ever...and that's a very long time.
But this is not about Andy's Gang. HamYoots unfamiliar with the program, the host, and Froggy The Gremlin are urged to grab an energy drink, open YouTube and experience for themselves that which cannot be made up. Makes Eraserhead look like Arthur.
Rather, this is about the tiniest slice of a minority of hams for whom exposure resulted in a distinct, if exceedingly rare type of radio enthusiast. To be fair, Wing Nuts are:
Not loners so much as, Be-Aparters-For-Oh-Say-Four-Or-Five-or Twenty-Seven-Hours-At-A-Clip.
Not weirdos so much as, functional hoarders of old baby food jars stuffed with vintage shards of ceramic disc capacitors.
Not fixated on inclement weather, lighthouses, run rates, AM phone and recumbent bicycles fitted with QRP rigs,solar panels and Mean People Suck mudflaps so much as...well, maybe fixated is a little strong. Let's split the difference and call it OWEP - Obsessive With Extreme Prejudice.
Yeah, watch out for these hams. Luckily the hobby has so few Wing Nuts, you'll have no shortage of role models among the other two types.
Finally, that's the beauty of ham radio, kids. When you need to generalize, pigeon-hole, resort to stereotypes, it's strictly no-fuss, no-muss, three pigeonholes...Bim, Bam, Boom.
Hey Kids! Get Yer FREE OM MASK!
Welcome to Dashtoons' cool new HamYoot! page.
At last, Ham Radio for the Younger Set - that's YOOT, Buster Brown. Buster Brown? Not important right now. We'll explain it to you someday. Repeatedly.
What's important right is now is this. We're extending a most hearty welcome with an ice breaker Old Man Mask Maker Project just for you – to print up, cut out and break down the barriers between you and all your local ham club Geezers.
Sources tell us you thirty-something and down amateurs are really feeling the generation gap these days. Some say it's like you're not there - overlooked, ignored, snubbed, all because you don't remember Hallicrafters radios, Arthur Godfrey and the Poll Parrot shoe jingle.
What a drag huh?
Get used to it HamYoots. Take it from a couple of wireless walruses named Me and Dash! Play it smart and pretend to be one of us for say, like, a decade. In ten years you can rip off your disguise and swat us out of the way like flies with an old QST, but until then, best to prudently bide your time and cagily gather Geezer intel in your official HamYoot OLD MAN MASK!
Yep, that's a vintage visage of our very own Dash! The Dog-Faced Ham without his weekly Kiwi shoe polish application. Trust us, nobody but the Coolio hams will recognize him, and they'll dig being in on the nutso gag.
Listen junior, with this mask you'll be wilder than the night Rickles got wiggy with a Wouff Hong and temporarily turned the Meadows' sumptuous Red Room Cabaret into a parking lot when he was toastmaster of the ARRL's apocryphal but very likely 1933 Hiram Percy Maxim Roast in Old Vegas.
Stay tuned to Dashtoons' HamYoot page. We got a million of 'em kids!