July 17, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

West Virginia

The joy of ham radio, the aluminum foil factor and the lost thimble (West Virginia)

It was the type of surprise not felt since a few decades back when Crayola had the bright idea to toss out a few of its classic crayon colors. The year was 2017, and I had learned the timeworn Monopoly thimble, an iconic piece of the popular board game since 1935, was to be no more.

The little silver dome would be hitting the blue-violet road, soon to be nothing more than a memory for those old enough to remember rabbit ears, black and white TVs and telephone party lines.

Technology came slowly to those living in the country. And for those who resided near the top of a giant mountain in rural Mercer County, it marched in at the pace of a snail with a proverbial bad hip.

When others in southern West Virginia were enjoying the newfangled luxury of cable television, those living off the beaten path continued to struggle with antenna line and the aluminum foil factor.

I still remember the precise art of attaching balls and strands of Reynolds to the protruding metal rods at the top of our portable TV. The result was that the screen became not clear, but a little less snowy.

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