Originally published in the C&E in November 1981.
As the DX world already knows, Oklahoma’s own Q.R. Zedd, the world’s greatest and most lovable Dxer, announced plans for his latest expedition, this to Mt. Williams.
Zedd is keeping some_details of his planned operation, such as the dates, a secret. He says those who want to work him badly enough will find him. The occasion of his mammoth press conference to announce the outlines of the expedition allowed a reporter for the C&E to secure an interview with him. Following is the transcript of that interview.
C&E –Mr. Zedd —
Zedd — Just call me QR, boy. Don’t be formal mean, I know you’re only a crummy WB and I am the greatest, but this, is a democracy, right? Relax. Get off your knees; you’re not supposed to shine alligator cowboy boots anyway.
C&E — Mr. QR, the world is fascinated to know where this mysterious Mount Williams is. Can you tell us?
Zedd — Why, sure, boy, be glad to Shucks, no secret about that. Williams is that pile of dirt down there near Norman, on the North Campus, that the Navy boys used to shoot bullets into. Some people still call it Bullet Hill, matter of fact. It’s the dirt pile the airport that folks are always chalking messages on, and there’s usually a cow on top, or a dead one at the bottom where she just took a nasty fall.
C&E — Are we to understand, then, Mr. QR latest and greatest DXpedition is going to be from the North Campus in Norman?
Zedd — That’s what I just told you, boy. Are you deef or just a: little slow?
C&E — Mr. QR, pardon me for asking, but why would a great DXer such as yourself go to Mt. Williams when there are so many neat places to work from, like maybe Albania or St. Maarten?
Zedd — Why hell, boy, EVERYBODY has worked Albania by now, ain’t they? And ole Gillie Wood, he’s done worked PJ8 plumb out. Nope, hardly nobody has worked Mt. Williams. I figure on making 25,000 QSOs from there, if my batteries hold out. The Japs will go crazy. I ought to get 6,000 IRCs out of it.
C&E — May we assume you’ll work both SSB and CW in the usual DX splits?
Zedd — You can assume whatever you want, boy, but you’ll probably be wrong. I plan to work mainly high-speed Charlie Whiskey, and don’t look for me to have no master of ceremonies or list-taker, or to check into any nets or any of that crap. My motto is No lists, no lids, and I’ll have my keyer memory set at 65 words a minute and two real neat code readers a-goin’, and if you can’t keep up, why, that’s just tough beans.
C&E — Mr. QR, will you make this expedition all alone?
Zedd — Yep, except for my QSL secretary, Tohdelayo.
C&E — You speak of Tondelayo Schwartz, your nubile, blonde 19-year–old QSL secretary of whom we have spoken in an earlier issue of our publication?
Zedd — How many other Tondelayos do you know, boy?
C&E — Mr. QR, while we have this brief moment to talk, could you tell me your opinion of why you are the world’s greatest DXer.
Zedd — Why, I don’t mind at all, It’s very simple, really. It is all a matter of intelligence, grace under pressure, establishing the proper scheme of lifetime priorities, good equipment, a smidgen of luck (Here Zedd blushed modestly), and a good brand of deodorant.
C&E — Did you say —
Zedd — Deodorant. I said deodorant. You know, a man can sweat a lot, chasing a rare one. I believe I can say without reservation that I owe a lot to my Right Guard. You know, I am the only amateur radio operator — be sure you get that right, boy — amateur radio operator — when I hear somebody call us hams, why, my gallbladder gets so inflamed I think I am gonna blow up sometimes. But to get back to me being the only radio amateur ever to appear in a Right Guard commercial in Playboy Magazine —
C&E — You spoke of priorities. What kind of priorities must a good DXer establish?
Zedd — You don’t want to hear about my Right Guard?
C&E — Sir, we would really rather hear –
Zedd — Okay, okay. I catch your drift. Well, priorities. In the first place, I think if you’re gonna chase DX, then you better put DX on the TOP of your list of activities. You never know when you might miss one, off working at some stupid job or playing croquet or something. Get rich or retire. That’s first. Then ‘you don’t let nothing else intrude into your listening. I listen HOURS for every minute I talk. Personally, I like to start listening on two or three bands about four o’clock in the ayem, and I listen to about nine. Then I let Tondelayo listen for me while I go eat the breakfast she’s fixed for me. Then’ I listen again starting about noon until about six-ish, and then I take another break, sometimes even a nap. I get by on three hours’ sleep a day. More than that, even with a helper, and you might miss something. So if you aspire to greatness, be prepared to put the time in on it. Remember: nothing worthwhile ever came easy; when the going gets tough, the tough get going; through the teeth and over the gums, look out stomach, here it comes!
C&E — Could you explain that last reference, sir?
Zedd — Sorry about that, I got carried away. You can’t do too much with your aphorisms, I always say. But that one didn’t fit too good. Well — idleness is the devil’s workshop. Put that in there if you want.
C&E — Mr. QR, I hear them starting up again in the Senate hearing room you have rented to allow the world press full knowledge of your expedition plans. There are so many things we want to ask you. Could we possibly have a fullscale interview with you when you return to Oklahoma?
Zedd — Boy, it would be my pleasure. I like you. You’re stupid, but you’re humble. I like that in people that interview me. Just call me up any time on any band and I’ll be there, you heah?
C&E — You monitor all bands all the time?
Zedd — Sure! Like I tole you, me or Tondelayo. You just git on there an’ holler QRZ? An’ I’ll come right back to you, tellin’ you the frequency is in use an’ calling you a nerd an’ a few funny things like that. I like to, do that, gives me my jollies. But you just hang in there an’ remind me who you are, and we’ll talk. All right? All RIGHT!