Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eulan Brown's Proudest Moment

I spoke Friday at the Kiwanis Club of Taylor County. To be honest, since these are home folks I did not really plan anything particular to talk about except I knew I wanted to end my remarks by talking about the lessons of Eulan Brown. Unlike all the other places I have told this story, most of the people in this audience knew Eulan personally. I received this email earlier today from a long time friend. Butch told me some things I never knew about Eulan.

For all you folks out there who have heard the lessons of Eulan Brown and remember the CB Radio craze of the seventies , this letter will cause you to smile. I sure did.

Hi Bruce,

I enjoyed your Kiwanis program in Reynolds yesterday. I was really glad to hear about the impact that Eulan Brown has made on you. Eulan spent a lot of time hanging out in my TV repair shop. He was truly a good and gentle person. I miss him.

As you remember, back in the mid 70's the CB radio craze hit Reynolds, Ga. I was in the TV repair business during that era and the CB radio craze was a natural progression to my sales and service business.

Eulan wanted a CB radio real bad. Everybody had one. Your dad had one, Your brother Mac had one (Circuit Rider), our barber Wayne Hill (The Clipper) had several, Gene Brunson (The Plow Boy) had CB's, even Dr. Whatley, Dr. Silverman, and Dr. Frank had CB's. There probably wasn't a person in the community that didn't have a CB. I sold hundreds and serviced thousands.

Eulan especially wanted a CB on his bicycle. Eulan's bicycle was his only mode of transportation, but he was always falling down. It didn't seem like a good idea, but I finally gave Eulan a small walkie - talkie to use on his bicycle. We mounted it on his basket with hay bailing wire. As you can imagine, that didn't last long. He wasn't much out of the driveway when he crashed the bike and broke the walkie-talkie.

In addition to selling Grit newspapers, Eulan also cut lawns to make money. I would occasionally have him cut my lawn. Eulan continued to want a CB radio so bad that I paid him for cutting my grass with a used mobile unit though I refused to put it on his bicycle.

Eulan lived in the projects next to the bank with his mother and a small dog. I gave him a power supply to power the mobile unit, but he still didn't have an antenna. An antenna was going to cost Eulan $30 or $40. Eulan had no money.

I cut a long Bamboo reed (fishing pole) from Fickling Mill and wrapped telephone wire around it, cut it to the right wavelength for CB and nailed it to the side of the project house for Eulan. It saved him some money and got him on the air.

Eulan was so happy. He was now talking to all the CBer's in town. He had pretty good range with it. He could talk to anybody in Reynolds. He talked to The Laundry Man, Lightfoot, Plowboy, The Clipper, Circuit Rider, The Butcher, The Printer, Well Man, Water Boy and lots of others. I even overheard him talking to the Green Machine in Roberta one night. He was a happy CBer.

Eulan had difficulty talking to people face to face. But, on the CB no one could see his deformity and he was much more confident. He was talking to strangers coming thru town and giving directions to places that I had no idea he even knew existed.

As luck would have it, a storm came thru and down came the fishing pole antenna. Having done all I felt I could to help him because I was really busy during that time doing CB and TV repair work, and dealing with Eulan made me no money whatsoever, I really tried to avoid Eulan.

You know Eulan and he was, if anything, persistent. Even to the point of aggravation. One afternoon, mostly to get him out of my hair, I went up to the projects to look at his broken down fishing pole antenna.

Eulan had removed the telephone wire from the broken fishing pole and wrapped it around his mother's mop handle. It wouldn't work because the wire was wrapped to loosely, his VSWR was off the scale and he still had the mop head on the handle.

However, it gave me an idea. I gave his mother back her good mop, and found 2 old mop handles around the project. I used my Amateur Radio Handbook as a rough guide and began to wind wire around the 2 mop handles in a configuration called co-phasing. It's the same principle used on the big 18 wheel trucks where you see an antenna on each mirror. For best results they need to be separated by 9
ft (1/4 wavelengths). With this configuration you can make the antenna system directional by cutting the wire to specific lengths. It gives it more gain in a particular direction. I spent several days, in my spare time, experimenting with different wire lengths, tightness of the coils, etc and finally came up with a really unique antenna system. I called it "Eulan's co-phased mop handles."

I attached one mop handle to each side of Eulan's roof at the projects. The improvement was quite amazing. Eulan was now able to talk to CBer's outside of Reynolds. He could talk to people in Roberta, Ft Valley, Oglethorpe, Butler, Montezuma, Ideal and occasionally in Thomaston and even further. At this point you couldn't shut him up. He wanted to stay on the air all the time. Imagine Eulan ON THE AIR all the time.

A really funny thing happened. Probably the favorite thing for an avid CBer to do is to talk skip. I won't try to explain it, but it involves talking to other CBer's a long distance away and usually at night. Our local Barbour, Wayne Hill (The Clipper) was also an avid CBer. Wayne had a really nice CB station at that time. He had Stack Threes (A really big antenna), with a rotator on a 50ft tower, powered by a substantial amplifier. Wayne would occasionally talk skip at night.

One morning Wayne called me. He was frantic. He said "You've got to help me with my dadgum CB radio system." Wayne was one of my best friends. I loved him like a brother. Still do - he's gone now.

It seems that Wayne and Eulan were both trying to talk skip to the same distant person late a night on their CB's. The other person could talk to Eulan but not to Wayne. Wayne was very upset. This was an impossible situation.

Wayne said "you don't understand, I've been beat by a dadgum mop handle"

This was probably Eulan Brown's proudest moment.

KGZ 7898 "The Butcher"

Butch Turner, Reynolds, GA


Judy S said...

Thanks to Butch. This really brought back some good memories. I remember Wayne's system and it was proboably one of the best that money could buy. Even though Wayne was so tight with money he didn't have a problem spending on his CB equipment. I miss him a lot too. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

"You don't lose until you quit trying and I wasn't about to quit trying"
Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L. Davis (Forrest Gump)

Anonymous said...

The lessons from Eulan continue to grow.

Anonymous said...

Persistence pays off even when the odds are against you.

Anonymous said...

I once heard Mr Sidney Bryan say about Eulan That boy has a head full of sense he just has trouble getting around.

Anonymous said...

Boy does that take me back! Daddy's right, Eulan was very persistant and he loved the CB radio. Back in those days, Daddy was so busy with his "Day job" and his TV shop business, but he always had time for Eulan. I have learned a lot from him by showing so much patience with Eulan, and that you don't judge people, even if they aren't like us.

KGZ 7898 "Pigtails"

Teresa said...

Eulan is an example for many! Something usually doesn't come from nothing. Wanting something really bad isn't enough. It takes working and wanting and more working! We can all take a lesson. Work and persistence results eventually in good things! I didn't know Eulan personnally but I have known many people like him.