I would easily venture to say there is not one reader out there
who has not heard of our Jeweler. Let’s go back to 1940. Hitler
is advancing across Europe. He is in France and rapidly
approaching the North Western territories. Our future Jeweler’s
mother sleeps with a hot iron by her bedside. Should the Germans
arrive, and should a soldier invade her home, she will smash him
in the face with the iron.
But the family escapes…to Nice, then to Barcelona in covered
wagons traveling by night, and then to Lisbon, and from Lisbon to
the US, by ship, arriving in Baltimore in 1942. Safe…for our
young lad to grow up to be the jeweler he is today.
Nothing to brag about in school. Except for his hobbies. Ham
Radio is his passion. He mostly uses continuous wave…Morse
code. He sets up a dipole antenna on the apartment building roof.
He is fifteen, and has no thought of being a jeweler. It’s
midnight. He closes the circuit on his transmitter
…illegal…but fun. His dipole antenna is now sending out radio
frequency …strong enough to light a fluorescent lamp from over
a foot away without any connections. He brings a portable radio
to the roof. He blasts Beethoven into the night…and while the
Fifth trumpets through the darkness, our future jeweler waves his
fluorescent baton toward the black sky, bringing it close to the
dipole antenna, where it lights brightly and eerily. He is
alone, and having a grand old time…him…and Ludwig…and the
Years pass. His father is a Diamond Sawyer and he, our Jeweler,
becomes a Diamond Setter. And he begins a small business, which
slowly grows. Our Jeweler meets a girl and marries her. His days
of Ham Radio are behind him. He continues on his career…till
one day…he reads of the Internet. Can you believe this folks?
He delves in. A new passion overtakes him. His wife tells him
it’s the Ham Radio of his adulthood. There’s no dipole antenna.
There’s no Beethoven. There’s no standing like a lunatic on a
lone rooftop in the middle of the night, waving a fluorescent
baton to the beat of the Fifth. There’s no Morse code. But
there’s better. There’s E-mail.
Words, supposedly spoken by Horace Greeley, ring in his ears.
“Go West, young man. Go West.” Of course, today Horace would have
said, “Go Internet. young man. Go Internet.” Which is what our
Jeweler did. And which is where he is today.
Oh how I shudder to mention his name. How I stammer when I think
of uttering it. But I must. For how can I disappoint my friends,
who have followed this tale this far. His name…his
name…is…Benjamin Mark! Ta-dumm. Oh yuk yuk. I can not help
meself folks. It just popped out.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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