posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 06:03 PM
And speaking of interesting kids stuff, toys and hobbies, does anyone remember HeathKit(s)? They were these electronic kits that you could build.
The story above about Nels and his rocket just reminded me of this. Nels was kind of a genius in a way. To look at him, he just looked like a
scrubby kid, with a devils grin. He was in his mid teens when I knew him, and I was much younger. He was one of those people who just had to take
everything apart (and I mean EVERY-THING), didn't matter what it was.
Well, one day Nels saw an advertisement in the back of some magazine for a Heathkit oscilloscope. (You know, those things that draw squiggly lines on
a scope and analyze circuits). I didn't even know what an oscilloscope was at the time, but it sure looked cool. (I know what one is now though,
more than I ever wanted to know). Anyway, Nels decided he was going to build one of these things. He had no idea why, or what he would do with it,
but he was going to build one...just because it looked "cool" and he'd look smart as a result.
So he built this thing (unbelievable)! My dad always thought Nels was full of crap and a bad influence, but Nels' father was a good friend of dad,
and Nels' sisters and I were ski buddies (my age). Anyway, so Nels builds this Heathkit oscilloscope. Dad hears about this thing and is telling me
there is..."simply NO WAY on planet Earth that Nels Christian could build a working oscilloscope!" So, I'm egging my dad on about it, and
finally he calls up Nels dad, Jim, and asks him if this thing really works. Well, Nels' dad was the GM of a public TV station, and says he has no
idea if this thing works or not, but he knows some engineers down at his TV station who damn sure will! This turns into a big deal. Finally, one
Friday evening this TV station engineer shows up with a TV and they hook up Nels' Heathkit oscilloscope to the circuits and tubes in this TV and, by
golly, the damn thing DOES work! In fact, it works so well the guy wants to buy it!
How Nels ever did that I will never know! But I'll never forget it...just like I'll never forget Major Matt Mason!
I don't ever know what happened to Nels; he's either dead or running around with Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Bezos, I'm sure.