Years of listening dangerously.

During the Duck'n Cover Space Race Cold War years of impending nuclear apocalypse, any major ninny could listen to AM radio.

But shortwave?

That took throw-weight. Gravitas. The Stuff.

You know, the kind of seventh grader who knew his SS-9 from his Minuteman from his Titan to his MIRV warhead. The kind of kid who knew Baikonur was in Khazakstan as well as he knew the Cape was north of Cocoa Beach. A seventh grader who read the papers, watched netowrk news and dug the cut of Marvin Kalb's trench coat as well as the way he said "reporting from Moscow."

All right, so WPE2GEP did a crummy job lettering his shingle. House paint on Masonite. Like it was yesterday and yeah, he was in such a rush he spaced the 2 after the E, but saved it like a boss.

Point is, we all had our reasons for becoming Friends of the Short Waves. Oh sure, wiseguys might say it was chiefly because we didn't have any other. You know, like friends. But I did. Let's see, there was R.C. Cola. And "Chips" Ahoy.

If we weren't listening in the 31 meter band, we were listening in the 49 meter band. And how about that 25 meter band? Anything could happen there. And if not, there was old reliable, here there and everywhere, WWV. We could listen to those ticks all night. That's seventh graders for ya.