Q: Tell me about this breed of young boys, like Binns, who become wireless
operators. What's in it for them? What attracts them? What are they
VU: Well, they were young boys who were fascinated by this new
technology and were adventurous types who wanted to go see the world. They had
a boyish sense of fun, too. They played jokes on each other all the time. They
had this vision of the world, that it was going to be an amazing wonderful place
and they were going to be part of creating that place.
These young wireless operators were dashing, first of
all, they had uniforms which makes any young man quite dashing. They
were clearly on the cutting edge of technology in the future. They were young,
they were carefree, they tended to travel a lot, they had a lot of appeal to
young women, and so it wasn't surprising that indeed they were appealing. And
there is no question, one of the things Binnsy had was a charming smile and a very
warm personality, with his sparkly blue eyes and it was irresistible.
Q: They took on an importance beyond their years, didn't they? I mean sort of
businessmen secrets and lovers' liaisons, secrets. Tell me about all that.
VU: Well the messages that were sent concerned business, they
concerned world politics, they concerned love liaisons, and they were sworn to
secrecy. And they had the power, in a sense, to reveal things that the people in
the world didn't want to have revealed. And yet one of their other important
characteristics was that they did not reveal these messages. They were
duty-bound but also honor-bound to keep the secrets of the messages that they
back to Interview Transcripts | next