FMLA XII — Frank Noir
The introduction went OK, altho it turned out not to be an introduction. I took Frank, my flaky pal who plans to take back 56-60 mc when the FCC moves TV up, to see another friend: Adolphus Charles. Never trust a man with two first names, said The Thin Man, but anyone would trust Adolphus at first meeting. A retired schoolteacher, he is also a QRQ 40M CW man and that is how Frank knew him. As we walked up to the poorly kept house Frank heard the clack of a Vibroplex and said immediately, "It must be A.C." Never having had an eyeball QSO, the two talked for over an hour about old times and mutual acquaintances. There was not a word about Frank's Five Meter Liberation Army and I remember thinking that Frank spoke in this same knowledgeable way with a 90-year-old ex-telgrapher, so Frank must be a lot older than his apparent 40 or so years -- even older than his double breasted suits and spats. A.C. has one of the last Kenwood v. tube transceivers in his ill-lit cavern of a house and Frank took a turn at the Vibroplex, making it sound like a keyer. I had never seen Frank use a store-bought rig before. I invited A.C., who does not get out much in his huge Buick, to stop by any time he was in the neighborhood, since Frank is spending most of his time in my basement with his retinue which lately included two. His regular bodyguard is a thin young fellow I call the WARmon. I name him thus for his tendency to masquerade as a LDS missionary and the fact that he and his boss, a young woman named Christie, are in an organization called WAR. Unfortunately, the next time I saw the failing A.C. he was roughly conveyed down the stairs to my basement by the WARmon who announced, "Look what I found sneaking around." In those next few seconds I learned a lot -- too much. First, I did not know any black guys were with the 82nd Airborne, but A.C. was and he showed it in breaking the WARmon's hold and two of his fingers with a sudden ruse. Next, I did not, and do not, know where Christie conceals her Ruger revolver on her boy-like frame, but she had it half way out when lesson three occurred. The only ones I had even seen were in books, usually about Sacco and Vanzetti, but Frank not only had a nickel plated Colt 38ACP, but he produced it in record time and pointed it between Christie's slate blue eyes. I could not see his face, but she could when he said, calmly, "leave my friends ALONE." "But Frank," plead the WARmon, he' a..." he did not finish because Christie carefully laid down the .357 and made a head gesture to him just after Frank rolled off the Colt's safety. "We have discussed this before," continued Frank in a tautological tone as he pocketed the Colt. "You are to keep that sort of thing out of my world." "If you chose to do otherwise, you can go back to pawnshop C.B.s." Christie stood, with a lot of dignity I thought, but ruined it by saying, "come on Mr. W., let's go where the air is cleaner." They moved widely past A.C. who was next to a rusting R-388 case/transcan in a corner where leans a rusty old SKS. One of Frank's visitors left it, I guess. The WAR folk spent the rest of A.C.'s visit in the yard, after splinting the kid's fingers and giving him a pull of Southern Comfort from a metal bottle Frank keeps in his Frazer for emergencies. They were nowhere to be seen when we saw A.C. off in his Electra 225 just before dusk. As soon as he was gone, Christie reappeared with a bottle of Mountain Dew soft drink for Frank. She kissed him on the cheek and, after that, would call him, "boss." Well, who can figure a dame? Anyway, Frank went back to his projects without further comment and, as the urban darkness descended, I added things up: For a few weeks the WAR folk will put Frank in their "race traitor" category, but it will pass. A.C., a religious fellow, seemed not so moved by it all and Frank is working up some project with an 815. It all fits, I guess, but there is still one question: Am I the only person in Dallas, TX, other than A.C., who does not carry a gun?
de ab5L, michael in dallas, MNHopkins@JUNO.com
Student of Tecraft, ICM and Six Meters’ Golden age: 1957-58
Box 226841, Dallas, TX 75222
Copyright FMLA XII-Frank Noir