No. of Recommendations: 4
While twiddling my thumbs waiting for some cw mobile ham radio activity – it's been mighty slow some days, I stumbled across another radio adventure book. This is from the 1944 time period during WW2 and is the story of, well, four high school age girls and a 'radio'. For a few bucks and a click on the internet, the book arrived in my mailbox a few days later. It's another that will be up for sale at the silent auction of the next Vintage Radio Club event


It's really light on radio content, but is interesting to 'go back' to the WW2 era. The story starts out with two girls looking for an apartment in River City, IA. The war is going on. The government has built a giant 'shell loading plant' there, and hundreds of workers have flooded in and finding an apartment is hard. Their school bus, that used to pick them up 15 miles outside of town, won't be running. THe buses are needed to transport factory workers to/from work. They need to move to town.

Eventually they come up with an arrangement with two other girls, find an apartment above a garage on a large estate run by an old lady and her staff of servants, and as part of the deal they have to 'take care' of a British refugee whose well to do parents have sent her to America to escape the blitz and other happenings in the home country. So four girls wind up renting an apartment.

The girl from Britain has a 'short wave radio'. She is a fanatic about listening to the 'news' broadcasts from the BBC, Germany and other countries. She also plays the accordion quite well and is the 'star' in several musical productions.

About 90% of the way through the book, after you learn about WW2 rationing for sugar and other things, the 'adventure' starts when the British girl, Rosemary, finally breaks the 'code' of the German shortwave propaganda news broadcasts. Seems that in River City, there was an explosion at the ammo plant that killed 12 people. It was written off as an accident. Later there was a man who 'went berserk' and took out revenge against his company – that took out one of the locks on the river – destroying it and causing a million dollars in damage and stopping shipping for six months. Finally she realized that these events occurred after a sequence of news announcements, such as 'news' Russian going nuts and blowing up the ship he was on in a lock in a Russian River. Later, certain other things were 'switched' on the program and occurred at exactly the time of the previous events at the time of the switch.

She realized that at 10pm that night, after German radio early that day had announced a bridge over a river in Russia, carrying a large ammo train, had suddenly exploded that day. That meant he saboteurs were going to blow up the big bridge over the river just as the ammo train was headed across it. So she quickly recruited a band of friends who a) dived into the river and cut the wires to the dynamite – after they spied the saboteurs leaving the bridge support column b) called the FBI c) found the get away car and let the air out of the tires to prevent a get away and d) where there when the police arrested the four saboteurs. End of story.

That's about all the 'radio' that was in the book. But for a few bucks, it was a decent 3 hour read. You never even learned what the 'shortwave radio' was or any other detail.

As far as I know, it is the only book that the author wrote about 'radio'. (and likely ghost written by a syndicate firm). Took about 3 hours to read. A nice step back into a time now almost 70 years ago.

Back then, nearly all the adventure type books were 'ghost written', usually by men, even under a female 'pen name'. The Radio Girl books were written by "Margaret Penrose" but it was two men who wrote them and a whole series of at least 50 others. (Radio Boys, Motor Boys, Motor Girls, etc).

My parents lived through WW2 - and likely the parents/grandparents of a large number of current county hunters. My dad was in the Army Air Force and spent several years out in CO as an instructor. Had to deal with rationing of food things (meat, eggs, sugar, flour, butter) and other thing like new consumer goods (none), tires for cars - recaps if you could get them, etc.

Well, it was an interesting diversion. Last week read two of the Radio Girls books written in 1922 but sort of in the 1918 to 1922 time frame. It's a series of 4 books (ghost written of course)....found two on line for a few bucks...one is available as a free E-book on line and another as a G-book (a 48 mbit PDF file for $2.99). Didn't even know G-books existed.

so that was tele's reading for the week......


t.
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