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The Ballad of the Bum Trip - Part Five, The Calm Before the Storm
Nostalgia Ain't What it Used to Be
But in the case of Dave Coopman's latest book, it's very, very close. The book is called, WQUA - Moline's Hometown Station. For anyone who is interested in Quad-Cities radio of the past (maybe that's redundant) this is a must read. Dave has also written a great book about KSTT in Davenport. He is now working on something called Ten-Four Eleanor, or C. B. Radio - The Intellectual's Sominex. (Just kidding.) If you would like to get a copy of the WQUA Book, you'll find it at the Rock Island County Historical Society Library. The address is 822 - 11th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265, phone 309-764-8590. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The book sells for $15.00 plus postage if applicable.
And now back to our story . . .
(You remember last time the boys along with Albert the stuffed alligator were leaving Hagerstown singing The Ballad of the Bum Trip.)
I can't remember much about this part of our adventure but when we came to in Richmond VA, my pal Dale Reeves was getting ready to move to Fort Wayne IN to work for WOWO, a 50 thousand Watt station that could be heard all over the Midwest. When we got to his apartment (a nice little place overlooking the rent) Dale was dyeing the landlady's confederate flag blue in the kitchen sink full of Rit. He said the flag came with the apartment, along with two tubs of grits and a pillowcase with eyeholes.
That night we went to the station where he worked, WRNL. It was at 910 on the AM dial with a signal that went straight up. The next day we went to a real nice tea room in an old hotel. It was very classy. I remember we ate manicured finger sandwiches with a knife and fork.
Later in the afternoon, we were back at the apartment when the landlady came over to check on things and tell Dale she was going to show the place the next day. "You'll have to take that with you," she said, pointing to Albert standing in the corner. "I will," said Dale, sliding over in front of the sink so she couldn't see the blue ring from the Rit.
Larry and I had a good time, with lots of laughs. (Dale always makes me laugh a bunch.) We had to leave the next day for home. Dale was to leave a few days later I think. Little did we know what Bruno the Buick and tropical storm Agnes had up their sleeve.
- Adam Jones