Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Despite the static and the fading signals broadcast from his father's CB radio, John Moe heard enough to know ``the trucks were out there.''

He was fascinated, ``hearing the lonely truckers talk to each other. It made me feel less lonely, somehow...''

Moe transmitted his remarks, and the images they evoke, in a commentary on ``Weekend America,'' an American Public Radio program he hosts. The year was 2008. The month and day: 10/4.

Truck drivers identified themselves with ``handles'' such as Big Ben or Rubber Duck -- used by C.W. McCall in his 1975 novelty tune, ``Convoy''. That way the information on who was doing the talking remained privileged.

I don't remember anyone using describing Citizen Band radio as interactive, the word we use now instead of two-way, although it was. (Another two-way invention, amateur or ham radio, caught on in the early 20th century.)

``We've ditched the CB, but its ghost entered our iPhone or Blackberry,'' Moe said.

``Instead of handles we have user names, which are never our real names.''

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