Robert "Ozzie" Osband and Lynell Berelsman

Recorded January 31, 2008 Archived January 31, 2008 23:28 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX003477


Ozzie talks about his space travel dreams, becoming interested in space, and his love of his ham radio.


  • Robert "Ozzie" Osband
  • Lynell Berelsman

Recording Location

MobileBooth East


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00:05 My name is Lynn Grossman. I'm 55 years old and today's date is January 31st 2008 here in Orlando, Florida, and I'm here with Ozzy who is a volunteer along with me with NPR.

00:24 In pure cure being wmfe 90.7 FM. My name is Robert. I was banned all over for Ozzy Osbourne. Ozz IE didn't used to be so fussy about the IE my age is 58 today's date is 2008 oh-131. That's International standard format year month day hour minute second computer table order. We are in Orlando, Florida. And when is a fellow NPR volunteer with wmfe 90.7?

00:55 That's great. Well, obviously we have just met just briefly but you were telling me some fascinating stories about your interest in radio and telephone and how that all came about going to go ahead and share that with

01:10 Well, most people ask me about my little lapel pin, which I wear two people ask me about it is simply the digits 3 2 1 and I did actually go to a police uniform store to get it ordered and made and it represents. My area code. Not just the fact that I live in area code 321. It's my area code when they just put the 407 area in the central Florida Orlando area. I attended and I wondering explained that Cape Canaveral the countdown Capital should have area code three two one. Then I presented them with print out from the North American numbering plan Administration showing that it was available.

01:54 So I figured I asked for it. They approved it. It must be my area code but I share a number until you explain that it has something to do with what I've noticed it unless you say 321 and the word countdown in the same sentence. Most people don't figure it out and it just never cursive but yet you say explain the countdown's of Cape Canaveral. We should have area code three two one. Oh, yeah, great idea and you know, the chairman of the commission came up to me later and she said to me, you know, mr. Us that we went to Nampa the North American numbering plan Administration and we requested such as you provided in your testimony and pillows with proprietary. I want to thank you very much for your testimony. And of course I found this on the internet

02:54 Is 3-2-1 lift dogs, right? I share my area code but I saved the best number for myself. And well what happened was the number I dialed +543-863-315-4386 330xi calls up then I'm sorry sir, but the boys in Melbourne tell me that that number is completely unavailable. It's in the middle of a hundred group that's on a corporate rate. I'm terribly sorry. Okay, so I go home go to the library Mark Fiedler is the Fresno Bee Company that might be good to know. Let's see now. I need an email address.

03:54 Publicity Flack first name underscore last name at Mark. I'm just over at dear. Mr. Fiedler blah blah blah. My area code blah blah blah. Could I please have 54386 has up November 1st 1999. My phone number will be 3 2 1 liftoff.

04:12 Hips and butt with my watch

04:17 It's 6 p.m. On a Friday night. I can't possibly going to answer until what Monday probably Tuesday Sunday evening. You have new mail and sure enough. I'll get my people on it.

04:35 Tell me about your childhood when you were first getting interested in radio and telephone telecommunications hook switch dialing back in the days of rotary dials, cuz you're the pulse is go out and I'll for your quick look like and you think cheap what what if I would just hit the switch four times and sure enough. You can start telephone that way back in those days and you get the truth about such things. Well in my house my dad worked what they called trick work a few weeks days few evening to midnight when he work midnights. They would unplug the telephone from the bedroom. Leave it on the dining room table and their IDs doing my homework on the dining room table, and I definitely want to listen to radio but I wasn't allowed to but so what if I take some clip leads to the radio and put

05:35 Lonzo the red and the green pins and oh, yeah, that's cool. Well, it's what got me interested in electronics and things of that nature. I never actually got my ham radio license until I move to Florida in 87, but I've been listen to shortwave since I was 14 of my birthday that you're my parents and got me a radio. It was a.m. And to shortwave bands. They didn't know about the shortwave bands for 2 years. They thought they bought me an AM FM radio. In the meantime. I was too busy looking at the BBC World Service radio back in those days when Revival of The Shadow

06:35 So I'm on I'm a big fan of Prairie Home Companion and things like that. So on ham radio, what's the most interesting know you communicate with people around the world with most interesting communication you had on him?

06:49 That's sexy to type of subject the long-distance radios. I can't afford but I play with them once a year on ham radio field day and I've talked to Malta. I've heard Australia, but they couldn't hear me back. So but the most interesting thing I've done is I've left messages in the electronic mailbox on for the Mir space station you have on board and there's a hammer doing now on board the International Space Station and I have some signals via the space station stuff. It's there's an organization called amps at the amateur radio satellite organization and hands actually have their own satellites that you can play with them the comfort of your own home and that one of the things I try and some people aren't you is how they can see satellites go buy a special the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope. You can only see the Before Dawn or

07:49 After dusk when you are in darkness, but the sad light is still being hit by sunlight. So can I. And across the sky Dash above. Com, so just put it in your city is and they've got a gazetteer with you. Hopefully 5,000 locations around the world and it'll tell you when to go outside and look for the space station or the Hubble have your back ever had a secret desire to go to space.

08:22 They got a spare seat. I'm going to go.

08:27 First to ask if I can afford it, but looks like a little high for a while.

08:33 How about Aviation to fly a dog? I am an aviation want to be I am a member of my local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter and on the 1st day out of the month at Dunn are Park in Titusville. They have a breakfast and a lots of folks flying from around this part of the state. There's a full contingent of comes down from Spruce Creek usually information for yellow air shows they come in and that's why I would go up there and do that. So what do you think is the future of space and Aviation? I mean if you were a child again, like when you were a child space was sort of the you know, the ultimate goal. What do you think for kids these days one of they have one of their dreams going to be

09:20 Well, they don't so much need ham radio anymore because they have the internet if you want to talk around the world, but when that breaks down of course has ham radio and I'm actually young twentysomething but you might want to it and he was quite helpful during the last batch of hurricanes back in 2004. Yeah. My the big thing was working up for a week and Homestead if a Hurricane Andrew, yeah, that was quite something. I've got a 15-page report up on my website about that. I talk to people who said that they went back to the neighborhoods and they couldn't recognize there's a really good nap. You couldn't figure out where you were going and I had now they're good nap, but I could count the streets below the bridge. I had to go under and then take a right here now go out to the food distribution site where I was positioned at the time.

10:20 In fact, when I got the phone call of the living in Clearwater at the time and the county you see the emergency Pinellas County, too. See you at the homestead gold Charlie why me you gave at the radio club about your adventures after the San Francisco earthquake.

10:45 Charlie are you at that lecture it was one dull boring 8-hour shift five days after the event yet. But that's more actual disastrous. D. O you want a figurehead? No problem. I'll be your figurehead. So I'm a resume. It says I will turn 19 and you are the San Francisco earthquakes as well. The company in Titusville is working for that time was putting on an airplane auction in Sacramento. Her miles away. Well, we set up all day the Tuesday and I didn't turn on Zee World Series game that night. I turned on my ham radio instead of looking at the local repeater and I kind of fell asleep to that but all of a sudden I'm here and then it's going okay and that's was when the earthquake hit. Well, I still had to work on my auction the whole week Saturday. I had a day off most of the gang took off into Reno to gamble.

11:45 The local repeat it was still looking for volunteers going to Oakland to work in the shelter's net control. This is in 4 s c y. Can I get a ride? Well with hook me up with a farmer who is driving in stop by my hotel at 6 a.m. I jumped in he drops me off at MLK Jr. Elementary School. He goes off to his assignment at job enrichment center of some kind can pick me up and drive me back to my hotel and one doll 8-hour shift Bella was you know, but most of what I learned how to do I went unfilled a yo, taking messages passing the traffic and this that and the other and then in Homestead feel they really came in handy because there was nothing prepared out there.

12:38 So you were out in the field, although there are a few tricks. I made up on the spot. I could hear the repeater that the emergency Operation Center the EOC was calling on my handheld but my handled wasn't powerful enough to get back. There was one time when they had a few questions of our shelter manager. Our site manager wasn't a shelter. So I would go out. I would Shadow the site manager. The question would come across. Well, I'd be on Simplex the same frequency that was on going back to my buddy with the answer.

13:12 And he wasn't good on the repeater frequency, which is certain colors below that goes into the repeater and give them the answer. They thought we had the same as they're all day at their beck-and-call. How do you do a lot of volunteer work? So where did you get the impetus for community service and volunteerism and it was at somebody

13:36 Cuz he had a lot of volunteer work with our temple in Rochester Temple Beth kodesh and the one thing I noticed was my dad got through a lot of things other people didn't get to do because he volunteered

13:51 Funniest pets with the ham radio I get to go all sorts of places that most people just aren't allowed but I'm radio guy. They need me there probably the emergency operation centers and learning how they work in Clearwater was called the pit.

14:12 And you have your ESF store emergency service functions all all around the central Podium and once you've got his police and fire another Transportation Communication in a speeding and control it really is the thing is that when they had to go to some other agency down that chain of command

14:38 Sofia the message for kids these days in terms of what how to get them inspired and become passionate about something like you are what would you tell them?

14:51 Just find out what you're interested in and follow it.

14:57 Just you know find fun things to do and you'll be surprised how useful they might be. Have you always knowing what you liked.

15:06 I like playing with computers and things and are the space program. So I not run my own little website space launch which basically gets information out to the public school newsletter called space launch info and I sold to the tourists in space View Park in Titusville.

15:26 I try to wear one of my radio shirts with my name on it and people can see I got you from your website cuz I was spaced-out HTML with directions on how to get to space View Park directly across the river from watch complex. 39a launch the shuttle from this one time. They're going to have 24 hours away. These three guys showed up. They were going to a convention in Orlando. They had been there the day before they flew in find out though. There's a shuttle launch quick hit the internet. Where can we go to sleep? Well found my website and find the way to space View Park. You have a whole fan club Ozzy and all right now got about 20 members at least in the fan club. If you go to space launch holds holds, it'll give you information on how to get information on holes and scrub in a launch countdown sent as a text message to your cell phone and you were telling me that you were

16:26 Shopping mall work for Verizon Wireless these days as a technician when there's a lunch you even though you're not a smoker you take a smoke break start up and I'll have my ham radio in there to listen to the 146. 940 megahertz repeater which one migrate a platypus on and balance the NASA feed speaking of the radio. So I get to work but one time I want your other heard of scrub jumped in my car. They're driving down US-1. I'm looking on why are these people still standing by the river? They haven't gotten the word yet?

17:07 Well, how can I get them the word and I started looking into it. There's a place called you POC code for a universal point of contact with a kind of abandoned and they set up text message communities. So is your NASCAR fans want some text messages about the races? You know, if you're an American Idol fan you got this text message Place. Well, you can set up your own text message to me and I set up the launch holds Community simply so that I could send out these messages group group. It is a text message group and one message goes to over 20 20 people at this point.

17:49 Even with all that you've done you kind of push the edge on Telephone technology at least. What do you think the future is for communications?

18:01 Her husband out. Do you know you can talk to him talk to anyone anywhere? It's going away from physical wire based stuff still need it for the last mile, but cable is showing that you can do it by having, you know, your internet people to people, you know, do you think it's going to bring people closer together is it?

18:27 No more. So more less than the telephone has itself already because even internet phones like Skype and stuff like that. It's just a rehash of what they're doing. Now the cell phones just make the same kind of thing mobile teenage girls always talk to teenage girls. Did they were stuck on a wire that you ate at all since you're no longer so I kind of wire they talked to them all. Can you talk about how you became interested in space travel and what role that may have played in you moving to to Titusville which is right, which is near the International Space Center. Well, I had when I was 8 years old.

19:10 But you know before that has been watching TV programs like a rocky Jones Space Ranger and things like that and I'm going to mean the Space Program. Oh, okay, and I started realizing the differences between the reality Space Program in the science fiction Space Program. I am a great science fiction fan and a 10 science fiction conventions this it's wonderful because you can go there you can throw it obscure references people not like catch them with Rebecca pronsky response. Great fun and

19:45 Space just always intrigued me as a possibility in and well if you're not going there then let's go. I'm a science-fiction fan. OK and Star Trek is good science fiction. Yes, I like Star Trek, but the trekkies don't understand there is more to science fiction than just track.

20:09 I've got what I call my face when your flight suit, which is just a black jumpsuit and a couple of patches some pins and see if anybody ask me for a backstory. I'm one of the gold skin cops from Larry Niven known Space Universe.

20:24 And you know just something that I can throw out and feel like I'm afraid of what's going on.

20:33 Every once in awhile the life going to be in the Masquerade cuz they have got too few costumes of people in the Masquerade, but mostly it's just a costume to wear around the halls with science fiction convention. So what character do you usually play if you're in the Masquerade Victory Geraci?

20:48 Put the other 42nd Space Rangers if you had your dream life and you could be Space Ranger Ozzie. What would space be like?

21:01 Probably open an inn on the Spaceport with a Cantina and which would be an internet cafe know what to do in wash day and that's probably my current lotto Fantasy is to open a motel and you know share the Space Center other you're really a people person. I think you have a lot to be proud of it. I think people be have all fan club that loves you.

21:38 Did you want to add anything about your interest in space travel or moving to Titusville or anything like that?

21:48 When I was looking in New York City for 10 years.

21:52 And I was helping a friend put up a computer bulletin board system. Now in those days if you had a bulletin board no matter where in the country was you had to get it listed in computer Shopper Magazine, which at the time was based in Titusville, Florida. Well most guys would just, you know, sending their information to computer Shopper, you know Voldemort editor I couldn't do that deer stand now stands eat was the editor of computer Shopper and my former boss at the computer, March of New York on 3rd Avenue and Madison, he was no editor-in-chief, so I had to write breakfast and about three days to get this message on my bulletin board. Is it give me a call? I made some Consulting work for you.

22:33 Okay, I call Stan it seems his boss is starting a newsletter for airplane cuddlers basically a database of airplanes for sale. And that's what it will go to the airplane Auction Sacramento and he's going to have an online service with it as well. But he needs somebody who understood that Communications who could help with the database but most importantly could help get the computer illiterate airplane Peddler's online with a data service.

23:08 As I went down for three days Consulting and stay with the company for 3 years.

23:15 See that works.

23:18 And I've been knocking around the Space Coast ever since.