History of SquakBox

Some newer members may wonder about the name of the Issaquah ARC newsletter and how long this publication has been around. Well, the fact is that the SquakBox is really older than the Issaquah ARC … if you count its earliest origins.

Right off the bat, some scholarly type will say that the name is misspelled. It should be “squawk box.” Radios have been called squawk boxes since they first hit the airwaves. However, the Club adopted the different spelling because the name “Issaquah” is derived from the Northwest Indian word “Squak.” In fact, we have Squak Mountain and old-timers still refer to the valley as the Squak Valley. It seemed an appropriate choice. So much for spelling. The first communication sent regarding the Issaquah Amateur Radio Club was a questionnaire (could it be SquakBox’s great grand-pappy?) asking local Hams if they would be interested in forming a club. The mailing list was compiled by WB7DHC’s 12-year-old daughter (now a 20-year-old Army medic) with the help of a 1977 Callbook. The technique was simple … look for 98027 ZIP Codes! By the way, the current mailing list (in 1986) for members alone contains at least 15 local ZIP Codes.

The questionnaire was followed by a postcard announcing a gathering place to consider the possibilities further. A couple more postcards were sent in late 1977 and early 1978. Then a crisis arose. Somebody wanted to put more than a time, date and place on the card and it wouldn’t fit!

The “No-Name” newsletter was born of that necessity and several months of debate followed regarding a permanent name. In late 1978, the issue was finally decided; call it the “SquakBox.” The newsletter has carried that name ever since.

- James Aguirre, WB7DHC

From the March 1986 SquakBox