Originally published in the April 1986 issue of the C&E.
Fresh from his triumphant opening of Atlantis for the DX faithful, Oklahoma’s Q. R. Zedd was back in the news this week as marriage rumors circulated worldwide.
Zedd, whose Honor Roll Ranch is just a hoot and a holler south of town, holds the nation’s only 1×1 callsign, A5A, and was recently named first recipient of Britain’s new Order of the Yagi in recognition of his Atlantis feat. He is known by many for his invention of radar and the plastic milk bottle, and annually bests all the rest in worldwide Dx competitions.
Most of these feats paled this week, however, as — for the second time in recent memory — word spread over the airwaves that the great man may wed Tondelayo Schwartz, his blonde, nubile, QSL secretary and constant companion.
Word from the French Riviera, where Zedd and the darling girl were vacationing after their Atlantis trek, was that A5A was QRZ on the airwaves only about 17 hours per day, while Tondelayo, W5FPN, was heard at her high-speed CW keyer only 15 hours per day from the beach. While it is well known that the couple ranks among the globe’s greatest ballroom dancers since Astaire and Rogers, dancing alone could not account for so many hours away from their rigs. This was the source of the romance rumors.
A fabled jeweler on the Riviera leaked to the National Enquirer a report that Zedd had bought Tondelayo another engagement ring. Tondelayo threw the last one in Lake Thunderbird two years ago when Zedd left her (and the Rev. Billy Graham) at the altar in order to rush off on a jet and activate Vietnam on all bands.
In Rome, the Swiss Guards at the Vatican all had their shoes shined, adding fuel to the rumors that the great one and his constant companion might have decided to tie the knot at last, and let the Pope do the honors while they were in the neighborhood. The Vatican had no comment, and the Vatican ham station was QRT.
Contacted on CW by a reporter for the Collector & Emitter, the precious Tondelayo was non-committal. The exchange went like this:
QRZ 5 K KU5B KU5B KU5B KU5B KU5B 59 59 KN W5FPN DE KU5B RRR UR 59 OKLA 59 TNX ES R U MARRYING HIM BK RR SOMEDAY MAYBE SWEETIE HW WX IN OK? BK TOND BT BT PEOPLE SAYING UR ABOUT TO WED ZEDD BT PLS COMMENT FER C ES E BK ASK ME NO QUESTIONS ES ILL TELL U NO LIES 73 88 QRZ 5S K
Zedd, as is well known, was married once before, years ago, but the marriage was later annulled on the basis that it had never been consumated, the ceremony having taken place during a record peak in the solar flux which kept Zedd at his rig for two years running. His once-betrothed later married a CBer and did other bad things.
Zedd has been with Tondelayo, or vice-versa, since they met on the beaches of southern California when she was 16. Her parents first objected to her joining Zedd, then 54, fulltime at Honor Roll, but that objection ended when they met the great one and saw how wonderful he was, and he promised to keep Tondelayo in high school, and tutor her on the side.
Zedd did such a great job of tutoring Tondelayo that she graduated from high school in a matter of days, and went right on, to the Harvard Business School, where she racked up a perfect 4.0 grade point average and graduated Maxima Cum Laude in a little over a year. She then returned to Oklahoma and used her new skills to takeover all Zedd’s QSLing and logging.
Tondelayo has made no secret of her adoration of Zedd, and didn’t even whimper very long when he left her (and Billy Graham) at the altar for Vietnam. Zedd’s momma, Constance Wilhemina Zedd of Mena, Arkansas, approves the pairing and has often said she wants a grandbaby.
“I just hope it works out this time,” Momma said via 40 meter phone from Mena. “That girl is not getting any younger, and if she doesn’t catch him this year, then the sunspot cycle will start to, improve again and she may have missed her last chance.”
If there is truth to rumors of impending nuptials; all the faithful should know by next month this time. Zedd’s private jet is scheduled to return stateside on or about May Day;