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How I Became Interested in CB Radios
My CB Radio Story
I whipped out the “old” CB radio yesterday and again today after a brief month or so hiatus. Boy was it fun! John, johnb0127, and I were fishing and it started to rain. We kept fishing, but it just got to be too much after about 10 or 15 minutes of near torrential downpour… Okay not torrential downpour, but it was really wet. So we were sitting in our cars… Okay my dad’s car and his mom’s car, but that’s beside the point, and we were talking between our cars in the otherwise vacant, gravely “parking lot” (in front of the large compost pile composed of more than typical compost items) that PappyElkins“Lake” has to offer on the CB radios. As we were taking turns sharing with each other at high decibel rates what we were listening to – The usual. “Thriller”, Big & Rich, and Santana – I started thinking how happy I was to have a CB radio. If not for them, so many inside joke would have never happened. It’s sad just to think about it. So then just now I was thinking about what got me interested in CB radios.
With Humble Beginnings
Ah yes. It all started while watching Smokey and the Bandit on TV one Friday night last year. I watched the movie and “hilarious” people talking before and after commercial breaks and almost died from laughter. I had seen glimpses of this movie beforehand, but had never watched it from beginning to end. So I did. The CB radios, Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed’s handles, and the 110 mph speeds of a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am blew my mind. It was sheer genius, this movie. Sheriff Buford T. Justice (of Texas) is a great character. He was always trying to keep the Bandit on his toes. This same weekend on Saturday and Sunday nights, they played the 2nd and 3rd Smokey and the Bandit movies. The second one I have watched a couple more times since then, the third installment was awful.
Smokey and the Bandit was not all the hype that I needed however. I went on an epic search in my grandparent’s garage for one of my grandpa’s old CBs, my dads old CB, or my aunt’s old CB. I did not find a radio, but I did recover an approximately 40 inch antenna that was on my dads old Sport Fury. The magnet made me a little nervous for highway speeds, but we will get to that later.
When I was at CedarCreekLake, I went into “town”, into Gun Barrel, Texas. At that RadioShack, there were CBs on display, contradictory to what a RadioShack in Arlington said – “We are trying to get rid of those.” HA! Fools… Excuse me. Anyways, I was extremely overjoyed to find a handheld CB in real life. I bought it. Life was good. I used it on the way home a couple days after this epic event of buying an actual CB radio. I did not hear too much action, and most was gibberish it was so fuzzy and cut out so much.
Then came school. That Monday, I brought the radio to school and kept it in my locker until lunchtime. At lunch, we held the radio out of the car window of a 1996 Acura Integra sedan with a dent in the rear bumper that was so perfectly shaped and artistically designed by the stationary object that left it, that it truly looked like it belonged there.
In the Midst of it All
While listening to the CB and trying to transmit our voices to other CBers, which we were unsuccessful with using only the rubber duckie antenna, we were spraying windshield wiper fluid on the windows, followed by three or four swift passes of the twin squeegees. We realized at this moment, that not very much wiper fluid was on the window post spray, we got curious as to why this was happening. I stepped out of the car, to find a Stride gum wrapper and sure enough the windshield wiper fluid splattered across the cracked and rocky pavement that is the sophomore parking lot. We had fun spraying passing students with windshield wiper fluid for days and days. Moving on.
And the Story Continues
Like I said, we could not talk to anybody with the rubber antenna, only listen, so the next day I brought the 27” telescoping antenna form my police scanner. With this, we could talk and hear the other people. And if we could talk also, why wait until lunchtime? Right? So we would walk between the real school building and the portable buildings (because our school was bursting at the seams with life) on the other side of our campus talking on the CB radio. People would ask us what is was, wondering if it was a walkie talkie I’m sure, and we would say it is a CB radio. In the weeks previous to this, we would carry walkie talkies to school so that we could find each other in the hallways. This was great fun, but CBs dominate.
On the way to Duncanville, Texas one sunny afternoon, I took the CB radio to test it on the highway for real. Tons of semis were near us, but I did not hear any talk on channel 19 (what I had heard all along, was the best highway channel for chatter), so I scanned all the channels and heard nothing but silence. Then, I stuck a few inches of the rubber antenna out the window and heard a flood of voices screaming in my face. I turned the volume and talked for a little bit, but realized I couldn’t always hold the CB antenna out the window at 70 mph. So this prompted me to go buy a magnet mount antenna and PL-259 adapter from RadioShack.com, because remember: they don’t have them in Arlington stores. Yes you are wondering why I didn’t just use the old 70’s antenna I found at my grandparents house. Well, if you recall, I didn’t trust the magnet as far as I could throw it. I do believe it would make a great sword for fencing on the weekends however. So I now had a 27” antenna from RadioShack and a PL-259 adapter. I hooked them up, and went to school. Nobody questioned me, they just went along with it. At lunch it worked like a champ.
Then it came time for our mission trip to New Orleans. What on earth could we do for that car ride down there!? Listen to the CB radio of course! Well we did and it was awesome. While in New Orleans, we went to a RadioShack. To our surprise (not really, we called ahead of time), they had CB radios, antennas and accessories. We were ecstatic. I almost a bought a 5 foot antenna, but decided against it. My friend almost bought a mobile CB, but it was right out of his price range. I bought another PL-259 adapter to go with my other antenna, as I had found out it works well for around town use.
Since all of this has happened, John has gotten a CB radio and we talk on them all over town. Listen for us sometime! Our handles are almost never the same, so good luck!
This summer, I took the CB radio and 27 inch magnet antenna to Iowa and San Antonio. They held up perfectly too! I was surprised at how many bugs hit the antenna. Its crazy how many there were. No troubles, this rain we have had this week has washed it clean.
Well, thanks for reading my CB radio story. I know you enjoyed it… Didn’t you?
Take care ya’ll,
P.S. I might elaborate on the windshield wiper fluid story at a later date. It is a story that is very hub-worthy.