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Author Topic: A Christmas story movie and morse code  (Read 7196 times)
N9DKD
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Posts: 5




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« on: December 24, 2013, 07:32:56 PM »

My wife and I are watching A Christmas Story.  The author, Jean Shephard, was a ham radio operator.  I read that he was quite proficient at cw.  Seven minutes into the movie Ralphie is at breakfast table with family.  He is talking to his mother.  There is faint morse code in background. My wife heard it too.  Last year I thought I heard morse code embedded in the music at one point.  it was very fast and very high in pitch.  I doubt I am the first to hear this.  Can anybody decipher the code for me?  my 10 wpm doesn't cut it!  Thanks.  Dave
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WX2S
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Posts: 746




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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 06:15:40 AM »

It's about 10 seconds into this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppOXpyhM2wA

Can make out a few letters, maybe "DE P..." but not really sure about that.

73, Wx2s.
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73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
KU4UV
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 05:05:17 PM »

My wife and I are watching A Christmas Story.  The author, Jean Shephard, was a ham radio operator.  I read that he was quite proficient at cw.  Seven minutes into the movie Ralphie is at breakfast table with family.  He is talking to his mother.  There is faint morse code in background. My wife heard it too.  Last year I thought I heard morse code embedded in the music at one point.  it was very fast and very high in pitch.  I doubt I am the first to hear this.  Can anybody decipher the code for me?  my 10 wpm doesn't cut it!  Thanks.  Dave

Jean is actually in the movie as well as being the narrator.  He is the guy in the scene at "Higbee's" where Ralphie and Randy go to meet Santa that tells Ralphie, "The line ends here, it starts back there!"
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N9DKD
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 05:47:05 PM »

Thank you for your responses!  I turned on the movie Christmas morning to see what I could copy. the scene that I described did not have cw in the background.  there must be more than one version of the movie.  Dave.
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2825




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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 09:25:20 PM »

My wife and I are watching A Christmas Story.  The author, Jean Shephard, was a ham radio operator.  I read that he was quite proficient at cw.  Seven minutes into the movie Ralphie is at breakfast table with family.  He is talking to his mother.  There is faint morse code in background. My wife heard it too.  Last year I thought I heard morse code embedded in the music at one point.  it was very fast and very high in pitch.  I doubt I am the first to hear this.  Can anybody decipher the code for me?  my 10 wpm doesn't cut it!  Thanks.  Dave

Jean is actually in the movie as well as being the narrator.  He is the guy in the scene at "Higbee's" where Ralphie and Randy go to meet Santa that tells Ralphie, "The line ends here, it starts back there!"


And the woman standing beside Jean in that scene is Jean's actual wife!
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
NK6Q
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 12:24:09 AM »

Anyone interested in getting more of Jean Shepherd should track down his book "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash", a collection of his short stories loosely strung together.  Most of the incidents the movie "A Christmas Story" are pasted together from Shep's stories & radio broadcasts of his childhood experiences in the fictional town of Hohman, IN.

I used to listen to Shep every night at 10:15 on WOR New York.  He also had a 2 hour show on Saturday night broadcast from the Limelight in Manhattan.  Shepherd also would do one-man shows around the Northeast college circuit.  I caught him live once or twice.  He rarely divulged that he was a ham.
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WX2S
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 12:53:58 AM »

the fictional town of Hohman, IN.
Probably Hammond, IN. The geography fits.

-WX2S.
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73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
WA2ONH
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Posts: 262




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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2014, 03:14:37 PM »

For additional Info on Shep / A Christmas Story movie can be found at ...

FLICK LIVES: A Salute to Jean Shepherd
LINK: http://www.flicklives.com/

Wikipedia: Jean Shepherd
LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Shepherd



... And the woman standing beside Jean in that scene is Jean's actual wife!
... Leigh Brown is the woman standing right behind Shep (3rd wife until her death in 1998)

Ah yes - WOR 710 AM Radio NY City - I remember it well.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 03:22:32 PM by WA2ONH » Logged

73 de WA2ONH   ...Charlie
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something!"
MISTAKES are proof that you are TRYING
WB2WIK
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Posts: 20636




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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2014, 08:03:42 PM »

I knew Jean and met him many times.  We had Thanksgiving dinner together in 1980...which was a real coincidence since he had friends in rural western NJ who were also my friends, and I had no idea that was the case until we both got there.  (Jean used to have a small horse property in western NJ back then -- he moved to FL a couple of years later.)

I don't think he was a big CW op.  However, some of his "stories," including the broadcasts on WOR-710 AM back then, about CW were hilarious and I could really relate.  He used to do "live" broadcasts on WOR from The Limelight in Greenwich Village (NYC) on Saturday nights, and I was in the audience five or six times for those.  It was a pricey place but well worth it because he was a real cut-up.  And the food was pretty good.

Last time I saw Jean was at the Dayton Hamvention, where he was the entertainment at the Saturday night banquet.  He was great.  He told lots of old stories, all of which were "Sad Sack" type stories about how terrible his experiences were as a new Novice in Hammond, IN...and then at the end, said, "Hey, I bought a new rig here at the Hamvention!  It's a Kenwood TS-440.  Hmmm.  'TS.'  I think they're trying to tell me something."  And he ended it with that and a huge round of applause as he walked off the stage.

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K0OD
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Posts: 2578




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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 07:18:58 AM »

Quote
I don't think he was a big CW op

Was just listening to the YT video where he discusses his teen years on ham radio during the Depression. He was quite proud of his code ability and mentioned he had a 45 WPM (yes, 45) proficiency certificate and used a McElroy bug.

Jerry Seinfeld is reportedly a huge fan of Jean Shepherd.

Shepard was married three times.

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WB2QIG
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2014, 03:50:15 PM »

I cannot tell you how many 9 volt batteries I used when listening to Shepard on WOR 710 from New York. My transistor radio was hidden under my pillow & the next day my back side would really drag! When I first started to listening he had the 11:15 - midnight spot.

Shepard also appeared many times at Princeton University doing his one man standup shows. He also flew out of Princeton Airport when I worked the on line crew. His son was a year or so behind me at Princeton High but for what ever reason few knew him as the son of Jean Shepard from the radio. His son was very low key.

I think on one of his shows he brought in his NCR-3 to demonstrate what ham radio was all about.

Maxwell
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K7MEM
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Posts: 108


WWW

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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2014, 05:29:59 PM »

I used to listen to Shep every night at 10:15 on WOR New York.  He also had a 2 hour show on Saturday night broadcast from the Limelight in Manhattan.  Shepherd also would do one-man shows around the Northeast college circuit.  I caught him live once or twice.  He rarely divulged that he was a ham.

I cannot tell you how many 9 volt batteries I used when listening to Shepard on WOR 710 from New York. My transistor radio was hidden under my pillow & the next day my back side would really drag! When I first started to listening he had the 11:15 - midnight spot.

That was me as well. I had a transistor radio stuck under my pillow and listened to Shep every night I could. My friends couldn't understand why I listened to him. I guess I was just an early geek.

The only time I remember him talking about being a ham was his searches, with Flick and Bruner, for old discarded TVs with a copper chassis.
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Martin - K7MEM

http://www.k7mem.com
WD9GCO
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 03:03:28 PM »

the fictional town of Hohman, IN.
Probably Hammond, IN. The geography fits.

-WX2S.

That is correct. Actually, the Hessville neighborhood of Hammond. It was fictionalized to "Hohman" for the stories. There actually was a Warren G. Harding Elementary School on Cleveland Avenue.

Oddly enough, the movie exteriors were filmed in Cleveland, OH since Cleveland in the '80s looked more like Hammond in the 20's and 30's than Hammond did. The house in Cleveland where the family lived has been restored and is now a museum dedicated to the film.

I have a mess of Shep's old WOR radio shows on a set of DVD's. I'm tempted to find an old tube AM radio and play them through a little low-power transmitter to get the same "feel" as listening to them live...
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N9BH
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2014, 04:32:17 AM »

It sounds like elcee to me.
Who is Elcee?
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