Ham Shacks of Our Mind
Dash! and I earnestly embarked on the lifelong daydream of our ultimate Fantasy Shack well before we became licensed Novices assigned the call WN2EXW and lofted our Gotham Vertical behind a modest upstate New York ranch after a late July snow flurry.
Truth be told, our early gathered wool spun around a rather large locus of Ultimate Fantasy Shacks some of which might seem strange today, not mention at the time among most of our Space Age radio kid peers. Perhaps the most peculiar of these featured a metric ton of rack-paneled Greatest Generation radios hunkered atop a baronial desk, beneath which spread a Pasha's portion of oriental carpet. In between the transmitter and receiver racks we envisioned a contrapuntal, more Cold War appropriate console, with Kremlin Hot Line, oversize rotator indicator, azimuthal DX map, yada-yada-yada, you know, for a more Strangelovian sort of Cheyenne Mountain vibe, with notes of plate modulation, accented by a sturdy Hallicrafters Skyrider panoramic display.
Oh yeah. And QSL cards from all the A-List hams. Skeds with Arthur Godfrey. The whole schmeer. Except our fantasy wasn't always this shack.
No, sometimes it skewed more Hefnerian.
Hey, like who isn't for varying portions of his life, thirteen years old? Sometimes you feel like a nut - and the whole pipe, ascot and smoking jacket thing makes perfect sense, along with the Right Stuff Collins Radio S-Line, the mandated kidney-shaped Luxury Formica operating desk and those swinging Rat Pack pad Ring-a-Ding-Ding lighting fixtures.
And then fifty years flip by.
Oh my. Yeah, pretty much all went according to plan. Wake up late morning, eat candy corn for breakfast, draw some QSL cards. By then it's time for more candy corn, a nice tall frosty RC Cola and a postprandial nap. Then draw more fun stuff. Then write some silly stuff, just to mix it up. Repeat. Then, I'll show 'em, because no one is the boss of me, stay up all night! Crash. And no 8 o'clock class!
And my shack? How'd that work out for me? Well, I must admit I did not have this scene in my mind's eye at thirteen.
No, I thought by this late date my shack would sport a Picture Phone.
PS: My everyday Icom 718 and Ameritron tuner aside, the Drake 2B and Johnson VFO work FB and both were passed on to me by Artistic Patron, Benefactor, Maximum Dash!Chum and dear friend Ken Edwards WA4SQM. The scantily-clad, Hook 'em Horns Viking One acquired last winter still needs work. Step one, assembling its full compliment of vacuum tubes is now complete. Next step is a thorough recap. If any Viking Mavens have any pointers, by all means pass them on, especially in terms of restoration priorities. No signs of fire or events of extreme electrical prejudice appear on the chassis.
PPS: This picture represents the K1NSS Super Shack of Solitude's most recent iteration, and we will enlarge the picture frame as redecoration continues apace, especially since Dash! and I are not ones to squander a Selfie of Opportunity or two or three.
3PS: Stay tuned to Dashtoons for a hard-hitting piece on The Ten Tough Choices of Shack Interior Design - the nick-knacks, the maps nobody ever consults, the QSL card holders, the Franklin Mint Hot Wheels Collections, the frilly things of Ham Cave Decor seldom discussed out loud - so sensitive, personal and carefully considered, perhaps more than SWR, Forward Gain and Effective Radiated Power put together. Is your shack too pooped to POP? QRX, cause we're gonna pump it up!