Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Thu, Jul 14 2005


If you're under a certain age you won't remember much about the craze of CB radio. Or, you might remember your parents being caught up in the whole thing. I was dragged into it all in Tennessee by my gadget-loving husband, when I was still pretty shy about talking to people I didn't know and couldn't see. But a couple of persistent types got me to press that key and hold conversations with them, conversations that often began with somebody calling out a handle (nickname) and asking, "You got your ears on?" I started to recognize the voices that went with handles like Big Marv, Kit Kat and others. Some of us swapped equipment, went to dinner together and then wondered what to do next. This was too good to keep to ourselves. We could help others with our radios and our network of connections.

We decided to form a local group to assist REACT and we held a fund-raiser for our local ambulance and rescue volunteers, off an exit near the freeway. We planned the event weeks in advance and it turned out to be a cloudy weekend that was one of the coldest in the history of the state. We put on extra socks and stamped our feet and drank hot cocoa. Then someone lit a portable heater and we huddled near that like drifters around a trash fire in a back alley.

The local ambulance and resuce crew had planned a rescue demonstration in order to raise awareness of their activities, and the whole thing went really well, with a simulated car crash scene and crews moving up and down the nearby embankment to haul the mock victims to safer ground before any vehicle gas tanks could possibly supposedly explode. Those acting the parts of victims were doused with fake blood to simulate various injuries so that crews could demonstrate their ability to handle everything from crushed ankles to open chest wounds. There was plenty of moaning and flailing and all the reality they could muster. They brought one man up the hill while pretending to perform CPR on him.

Along about that time people driving by on the freeway nearly had some very real royal wrecks of their own as they craned their necks to see the drama, all mesmerized by the very professional rescue team's movements, and all completely convinced that only something really horrible would have brought such a bunch of bystanders (us) to stand around and watch on this freezing winter day. One bus full of children pulled off the exit at breakneck speed and kids nearly fell out the door trying to get over to us to ask if there was anything they could do to help. We pointed to the donation table and got looks that told us they hadn't exactly had cash in mind. I think maybe they had hoped to pass rolls of sterile bandages and give sips of water to the dying. They left, looking disgusted at having been duped into this sham of a roadside attraction.

Earlier this year Single Southern Guy reminisced about the days when CB was popular. As several people have noted, it wasn't really all that different from today's world of instant message nicknames and other things online. It will be great fun to see what comes next.

posted at: 09:53 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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