Newell's favorite spot before his radio in his radio room
By Bob Weaver 2009
Oka Road resident John Newell has been a CB radio hobbyist for over 35 years, ever since he bought a used $10 mobile radio from a used furniture store in Spencer.
"1974 was the height of the CB radio craze, everybody had one," said John, "So many people on the channels that you had a loud roar."
Truckers made CB radios famous, but John says "In Calhoun I bet there was 400-500 stations, a dozen right here in this holler."
"There was a lot of cussing, playing music and carrying on by some operators back then, many of them wanted to put on a show the drunker they got, wanna be American Idols of the day," he said.
"When other radio operators wouldn't give them attention, they went away," John said, noting that today, most people on the 40 channels just want to talk, have a good time and help out."
John said "You meet a lot of great people, and many become friends. You can find just about anything you want to fix things."
John's radio room is pretty typical, in his case he continues to collect early CB radios, mobiles and bases, from the early days and lots of other associated equipment.
"I've been trading around for years," he said, "but I still have my very first base station, a Johnson.
Newell looks over his huge collection of old and new CB radio equipment
The FCC issued licenses for years. None has been required since 1975.
In 1958 they had issued 30,000 licenses, which grew to a half-million in 1975.
While some operators use more than the 5-watt allocated power, John says that has really moderated.
Because of sunspot activity, some of the best radio communications can be had through 2015.
CB'ers in Calhoun usually meet on channel 15.
Not unlike the hey-dey of CB'ing, regional operators who monitor channel 15 held their first CB Coffee Break at the Amma Community Center.
Among those attending were, Hillbilly, Blue Bonnet, Duck, Daisy, Big Al, Teddy Bear, Bird Dog, Bear Cat, Little Man, Bean Pole, Rubber Duck, Shot Gun Red, Maverick, Skunk Chaser, Blue Bird, Snake Eyes, Banjo Man, Viking, Little John, Huggy Bear, Top Cat, Little Angel, Tinker, Curly Top, Wounded Knee, Low Pockets, General, Buckeye Hillbilly, Ham Bone, Shorty, Mud Dobber, Broadcaster, Sheep Dip, Dull Knife, Little Bug, Red Fox, Cake Maker, Blue Eyes, Half Breed, Rinky Dink, Gen Sang, Slow Poke, and BB.
For CB info, call John Newell 304-655-6793.
- Newell, who retired from Monarch Rubber after 42 years, and his wife Ann, now deceased, are avid historians and collectors
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