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I’m not quite certain of the author of this work, but here is the reply to The Old Man’s (T.O.M.) “Rotten Radio” letter. Purportedly written to one of those he had taken to task, I suspect that the author may have been T.O.M. himself. The style is most clever, with numerous cultural and technical references, the nuances of which many are lost to us today. So sit back and enjoy the wit of the “The Young Squirt”.
– Bruce W1UJR

The First Epistle From The Young Squirt To The Old Man


By the shades of Mike Faraday and Julius-Caesar, Friend Ham, lend me your shell-like ear and let me gently inquire who in tarnashun and thunderashun is the wild galoot from the west who is always hollering “Rotten”? By heck, this bewhiskered old son-of-a-gun has got my horned animal, or to be brief, explicit, and to the point, my goat. For the last five hectic and sufferin’ years all I’ve heard him yell is “Rotten”. Tell him to go take a walk, take a bath or a shave. Perhaps he can take a drink, (if he can get it). Go and see that pretty little show called “Open Your Eyes”; that might help some.

I want to remark with all due sang froid (which is no relation to aperiodic oscillations) that everything about us hams ain’t rotten. Just to prove my brave and bold assertion, I’ll hereby request in a gentle, subdued—that is, in not a too stentorian tone of voice with a chortle of discontent—that this bewhiskered gazebo take an optical slant at the antenna depicted on the July QST’s cover and then peep inside at the works and the jeweled bearings of the station. Does that look rotten to you, you howling old Bullbum? Go hide your aged cranium, old Pessimistic Humbug Arratus.

Listen in on your own part of the world, Skeezicks; hear Mrs. 8NH (as we’ll always know her). Is her spark rotten, is her fist rotten, is the intensity of her signal rotten when we get her down here in New England like the seventeen regiments of Scotch Highlanders full of Gordon Rye? Answer up, you old geezer, before we dance on your old oaken coffin.

And tell me this, Methusalum, what’s rotten about stations like 1HAA and 1AK? You oughter take a trip to 1AK, seat yourself in his leather upholstered operating chair, lean back in bliss and comfort and be lulled to rest by the helluvanote of YN, the whistle of POZ, or the falsetto of LCM. Then throw his Paragon and hear the dope from Willie Smith out in Missouri who is vainly trying to date up his girl using as a means of dating his little half-inch spark coil. Who said “Rotten”? Everything in the game ain’t “rotten”, as I remarked to a fellow fan when Babe Ruth knocked his twenty-seventh homer. Of course you and I are rotten; that’s why our fellerhams fall for this bunk. It’s so darned rotten that they laugh out of sympathy for the authors. No matter about that, I’m all right and the world’s askew and you (OM) are a loud shouting airdale, mud-slinging hashound. Release the man, he is badly lacerated!

I suspect that you have a dark, dismal and damp cellar at your domicile where you are want to congregate down by your waterpipe and where your ground begins. On a broad and massive shelf overhead, I can now, in my mind’s eye, see you reaching up and detaching a large brown bottle with a bulging belly from said shelf. This bottle, as I see it, is inscribed, “Wood Alcohol, for Adults Only”. You put this horrid exhibit to your lips and take a long drag therefrom. Then you gasp for breath. Back with your shoulders, out with your chest. You feel 75 years younger. You feel fine; you’re drunk y’ darnphule. This is the time, I suspect, that you write those rotten, tainted and corrupted stories. I believe, you old scarecrow, you’re too darned mean to speak a good, cheerful word to us young ham; afraid that we’ll ask you to lend us your darned old squeaking Betsy or your poor abused cat. Personally I don’t believe that you’ve got a Betsy; I think it’s a tin Lizzie.
Did you read that stuff in our July issue written by Miss Grammerhausen—femule ham? What was rotten about that? Guess she is a regular guy. Admit it, you crab-walking, slant eyed son of Macaroni.

I sure had to laugh when I read of an old has-been like you trying out impulse excitation. Guess you know more about output indigestion!
Let’s not drop the subject—while we’re at it let’s flay this knocking old mugwump alive. Now, I myself can sit in on my superdreadnaught set and get stuff that ain’t corrupt. By suitably adjusting the deterioration of my filament due to electrionic emission, (hoping that the Ham (F) gets that phrase OK and considers my think-tank is not out of phase) and as the tiny atomic and infinitesimal electrons seek the path of Prohibition, that is to say the straight and narrow, I proceed to adjust my circuits to resonance, not neglecting the tertiary. Here am I up in New England and twitter—twitter comes NSD. I use NSD as I was wont to use a test buzzer in the Palmy Days. I hear NAM say to him, “O, NSD, O NSD why don’t you set old Ireland free?” Then I know that my antenna is still up and that there’s considerable push to my main spring. So I bend my well moulded head to my work and my youthful countenance (whatever that is) light up with a beatific and a 100KW smile. Hope that all hands will excuse my poetic language. I gotta compete with old Jingle-Jazz. Now my gear is adjusted, so stand from under. I cut her down to 200 meters. In through the window comes 1AW—also that bird Runyon—a guy out in Oak Park, Illinois, whispers in my ear, and Mrs. 8NH flirts with me—a married man. I glow with pride because this ain’t so bad for home made stuff. I try to spit on my female pussy in my zeal, for you see I’m not about to be outdone by old Tom Longwhiskers. I miss pussy and spit in the baby’s ear. Do you call that rotten, Old Drybones? I’ll say it’s gud work—it denotes perfect resonance and unerring aim.

Get some Omega Oil and douse your withered shinbones, Old Timer; then maybe you can get down on your creaking knees and thank the Lord that you’re alive and that you can still hear the lusty roar of the Ham around the corner.

On the level, I’ll bet that you were one of those gazaboes who, in the year 1910 or thereabouts, made the ether squirm to the tune of your decrement. I can see you now, smoking your old black pipe, a green shade pulled over your watery eyes—gazing into vacancy and pounding the devil out of one of Turnsback’s keys. On the tail end of the key you have a tick tacking spark coil operated through an App’s hammer. You still have the hammer, I’m sure. Down goes the key and up goes some poor old commercial station—another good electrolytic gone wrong. You pound on in blissful ignorance and the London Constabulary arrests a man for stealing a loaf of bread.

I sure hope, through, that I can see you down in New York some time. We’ll go Hellpoppin’ together. We must take in a good show, guzzle a little moonshine together, accompanied by the Edison Military Band and the office force of QST.

Come out of your hop, Old Beezlebub, or I’ll put Sheer-luck Holmes on your tail, and he’ll have Watson with him.