My newly built radio did not have speakers, but had instead a hand-held ear piece, not unlike the receiver of very early telephones. I would lay in bed late at night with that ear piece pressed to my ear, listening to whoever was talking on the radio. I have no idea what band I was listening to. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t AM because I wasn’t receiving the same programming as could be heard on the giant Philco set downstairs. One of the programs I came across was dedicated to ham radio. Apparently some guy in a studio received transmissions from ham radio operators and the conversation was rebroadcast to me, and to whomever else was listening on that band.
In retrospect this was very much like today’s talk radio, but the topics had to do with ham radio, and the many technical issues involved. After that I wanted nothing so much as to be a ham radio operator and talk to the world. I would buy magazines dedicated to the activity. I would read the articles and the advertising, and dream of this or that piece of equipment in the way that a few years later, I would dream of hot rods and Corvettes and Ferraris.
When I entered high school, I took classes in electricity, and soon electronics. Our next-door neighbor repaired televisions, part-time in his basement and, as luck would have it, he was pals with the high school Electricity/Electronics teacher, Mr. McCarville. So I had an in. Because of the connection with my neighbor, and because I was so passionate about the subject, I received opportunities and extra tutelage to which I otherwise would not have been entitled.
This was all for naught, however, when sometime in my junior year, I lost interest in electronics, almost literally overnight. All of what I knew beyond the basics, I have forgotten. This experience led me to the first of several, of what I believe to be, universal truths. Nothing lasts forever.