Originally published in the January 1987 issue of the Colletor and Emitter.
Our own great Q. R. Zedd, A5A, made a number of wonderful New Year’s Resolutions. One of them is likely to change world history and shake amateur radio to its foundations.
Zedd, the world’s greatest DXer and holder of all records in the sport, sprang his new plan on the boys and girls of SCARS at the annual Christmas pigout early in December.
It was terrific that Zedd had the news to brighten the party. The gathering had been somewhat sadder than normal during earlier portions of the evening because the annual high-speed CW demonstration and tap dancing entertainment had been cancelled.
Tondelayo, Zedd’s long-time QSL secretary and more recently his bride, could not do the CW or the dancing as usual due to the fact that, while still young, she is not quite as nubile as she once was. As a matter of fact, she is in the family way, and demurely took a back seat this year to Zedd’s announcement and the Santa Claus impersonation given by KA5EFJ.
The regular club secretary for the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society will no doubt provide a full report of the EFJ doings. Here we are thrilled to get to report Zedd’s announced New Year’s resolution, and first results of same.
After giving the folks a few insights into how he became so wonderful, along with tips on DXing, Zedd turned more serious.
“People,” quoth the great one, “over the years I have of course done many brave, intelligent, and even heroic things. Like when I activated Atlantis a year ago, or the time I heard AF5X calling CQ, and answered him. You all know how incredible I am. “I have been thinking, however, that it is time for me to return to our beloved hobby a little of the pleasure it has given me, and therefore I have made a momentous decision.
“I am going to share some of my expertise and knowledge with someone less talented and fortunate than myself.”
Zedd was interrupted at this point by shattering applause, and a rumor promptly shot around Norman that Zedd was finally going to share his inside knowledge of linebacking technique with the Boz, something No. 44 has been begging him to do for more than two seasons. However, Zedd quickly clarified the point.
“What I aim to do,” the great man said, “is become an Elmer for some new aspirant to our beloved hobby.”
Well, as you can imagine, everyone in the room was thrilled and delighted. Especially after somebody took the microphone long enough to footnote Zedd’s remark with the explanation that Zedd didn’t mean he was going to change his name, but rather act as teacher, advisor, and all-around savant for some poor boob just getting ready to start down that long and arduous path toward the Amateur Extra Class and maybe even the coveted Yodar Kritch.
“How,” somebody in the crowd asked, “will you pick the lucky soul you’ll Elmer?”
“I figure,” Zedd replied, “that I’ll let fate and good old red-blooded American competition decide who I help along the way to ham radio immortality.
“In other words, the first guy or gal that asks me, I’ll take on and make an A-1 operator in record time.”
Some of the boys who teach novice groups regularly on the North Campus were heard to remark that teaching CW and electronic theory is not as easy as it looks. Zedd smiled down on them and reminded them of who he was.
“I can teach ANYBODY because of my brilliance and vast experience,” Zedd said. “And besides, it can’t be all that hard. Look at KU5B. Even he got a license.”
Well, of course your reporter was transported with delight, as always, to be noticed by the great man. So thrilled was the undersigned that several other complimentary remarks dished out to others in attendance by A5A in the next few minutes were missed because my vision was blurred by tears of gratitude.
It was possible, however, to witness the historic meeting of Zedd and the new candidate for an amateur ticket later that very evening.
As the club members and guests wended their way toward parked cars at the conclusion of festivities, several of us were yipping along at Zedd’s heels, slathering over the possibility of getting another morsel of wisdom or pat on the head. So we saw and heard what happened.
Zedd was helping Tondelayo into the Toyota Land Rover for the ride back to Honor Roll Ranch when suddenly a tall, skinny, long-haired weirdo, wearing a Grateful Dead tee shirt and cutoffs, loped out of the icy night. Said weirdo had some kind of a piece of gear on a length of clothesline around his neck, and a microphone clipped to his left earlobe beside his garnet dangler.
“Mr. Zedd! Mr. Zedd” the weirdo cried. “I am your man! I have arrived! Oh joy, oh rapture!” Zedd pulled a sixshooter out of his pants and might have blown the nerd away right then and there if several pals had not intervened.
Calmed somewhat, Zedd faced the lank dork.
“What do you want, boy?” he demanded.
A burst of sound came from the piece of gear on the weirdo’s chest. The gear was a CB radio. The burst of sound was kind of unprintable, right off Channel 19.
“I wanna be a radio armature!” the dork screamed. “I am ten-eight and ten-six and ten-fourteen and tentatively ready to start work raht NOW! I wanna be a HAM, you gotta copy, good buddy?”
Somebody had to hide the sixshooter.
Zedd, you see, was clearly trapped.
He had promised to teach whoever asked him first.
He had said he could teach anybody.
“Q.,” Tondelayo said softly from the seat of the Toyota, “you promised….”
Such is the courage under pressure of great men that Zedd saw his duty in a flash, and composed his handsome visage into granite.
“Son,” he said, putting on a rubber glove and then putting his hand on the dork’s shoulder, you come out to Honor Roll on Saturday. I’ll start your first lessons in how to become a ham.”
“Wow! Alakazam!” the nerd screamed. “Thank you! This is plumb bodacious! Ten four, good buddy! Keep the pedal to the metal! I’ll see you on the flip side! I’m outta here!” And he raced off into the night, trailing his twin truckers.
A strange silence fell over the parking lot. You could hear the growling of W5OU’s stomach. Clearly, this was going to be one of Zedd’s greatest challenges. We could hardly wait to see what would happen next.