Top 25 "It" products of all time: #21 -- The CB radio

One of my fondest childhood memories was our 1978 road trip from our home outside of Philadelphia to meet some friends of my parents in Taos, New Mexico. It was made all the more memorable by the CB radio that we kids insisted my dad purchase for the trip.

This was the height of the CB craze. Two years earlier, the song "Convoy" had been a number one hit on both the pop and country charts. If you are old enough, you may remember when trucker slang like "breaker, breaker 1-9" and "rubber duck" was considered the height of coolness. The song was later made into a movie of the same name. Remember the 1970s were a funny (peculiar, not ha-ha) time.

Anyway, the trip was wonderful. We traveled through the south and hit New Orleans, where my dad told me to say "Hi" to the nice lady dancing in an open-door bar on Bourbon Street that I was way too young to enter. All the while we spoke with our "good buddies" who gave us recommendations of where to eat and offered use advice on how to avoid speed traps from the "smokies."

One thing I do remember clearly is that CBs were kind of the Internet of their era. They were not exactly a market place of ideas, more like a roadside fruit stand. Some of the truckers used to jabber on incoherently for what seemed to be hours. Only later did I realize that they probably were on speed.

The CB is one relic of the 1970s that deserves to be buried along with bell-bottom jeans and reruns of "Good Times." 10-4, good buddy.

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