Yet there is world romance convergent in the little attic room.
A letter came to him yesterday mailed from Tahiti in the South Sea Islands. It had reference to a radio talk on July 4, and was written under that date, on board the yacht “Idalia.”
“When I connected with you this morning,” the letter said, “I was 3,100 miles out of San Francisco, in the world’s longest yacht race, to Tahiti in the South Sea Islands.”
The letter goes on the explain that it has been “quite rough” and that as the yacht was only fifty feet long it had been hard to keep the wave steady. It closed with a request that Collins mail a card to the writer's home in California. It was signed “RAY NEWLEY.”
Again yesterday, the local boy received three cards from Australia, where his signals had been heard, one of them in a humorous vein by a writer who regarded prohibition as a joke, for he asked, “How does it feel to stay sober?”
He has talked with England, Scotland, India, Belgium, Porto Rico, Guam and Mexico. The other day an unknown friend in Chili asked to be pardoned from further conversation because a volcano was erupting and interfering with the talk. “He referred to it as it was in his back yard,” said Arthur. He has hundreds of cards from stations all over the world, many of which he has pasted on the walls.
But all this is but incidental to the day's happenings for the high school boy, who has been a victim of the radio fever since he was 9 years old.
It was at that early age that he began to experiment, and he has been at it ever since, with the exception of the period during the war when amateur
radio activities were handicapped. He spends many hours a day in his little room, sometimes scarcely stopping to eat or sleep.