I met Little Al
when I was in High School band….before I was a ham and before I even knew what
ham radio was. Al was a volunteer
working with us at the Traverse City Central High School marching band.
He always got along with kids of high school age. He was known to throw
pizza parties and listen to Metallica and AC/DC.
Al even had his hair dyed various colors depending on what was “in”
at the time. For an old guy (to us
15-18 year olds) he was pretty hip. Later
on I became re-acquainted with Al through the local Ham clubs in Traverse City.
Al was a founding
member of the Northwest Michigan Amateur Radio Club (Krazy 8’s) and the
Northwest Michigan Chapter of the IOOK.
Al worked part
time as a percussion instructor at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and the
rest of the time he was their piano tuner. He even lived on campus in their
mobile home park.
Little Al was
legally blind but once while flying with W8TVC (then not a ham either) the tower
called and said there was traffic. It
was a DC9 at 10 o’clock and 4000 feet (or something like that). Anyway,
Dave W8TVC said he couldn’t see it and little Al piped up and pointed right at
it. Another story we all heard about Little Al was he once had a
Honda motor bike that he used to ride around the campus at Interlochen. When
anyone heard him coming they made sure they got off the sidewalks, roads and
trails because they all knew he couldn’t see all that good.
The school eventually told Al that he would have to sell his motor bike
and go back to walking or hitching a ride with the Interlochen transportation
were Ham Radio, Flying, Model Aircraft, Model Trains, Music of any kind and
harassing the local hams (in a Fun kind of way).
I remember many
nights spent talking to Al on the “Late night liars club net “ on the 146.98
repeater in Cadillac Michigan till 3 in the morning along with the other liars
like Rotten Russell, WA8SDM , Big Al, KB8FJB and Ray, KA8PRV and a few others.
We in Northwest
Michigan miss Little AL and every time I see someone eating ribs with the sauce
all over their face, I remember Little Al Fisher, K8CEB.