[AARA] Man finishes 69-year mission that started after deadly fire

Herman Campbell Kn5grk at lusfiber.net
Thu Feb 12 19:16:54 CST 2015

*Frank Cooper, 83, displays some of his radio equipment. Cooper escaped 
a fire at the Grand Hotel in Monroe in 1946.*

Man finishes 69-year mission that started after deadly fire


By Kaleb Causey*

Gannett Louisiana*

MONROE —*On Jan. 27, 1946, 14-year-old FrankCooper had given up.He was 
working on building a short-wave receiver radio that he saw in Popular 
Mechanics but had gotten too tired to continue working thatnight.Not 
long after falling asleep, he had a dream.

“During my sleep I had this terrible dream that the ceiling was on 
fire,” he said. “There was this little hole in the ceiling and as I 
watched the hole got bigger, the fire spread.”

Cooper soon realized it wasn’t a dream — his room was on fire. He 
woke his sister and stepfather and tried to run down to the lobby of the 
Grand Hotel in Monroe, where they were living, but it was engulfed in 
flames. His family escaped out a hallway to a veranda off the backof the 
hotel that overlooked the Ouachita River.

“As we got to that veranda, I could hear thumps and realized that 
people were jumping out of the windows and jumping into the river,” he 
said. “The river was farther down. They weren’t making it. As I 
recall, it burntup pretty quickly.”The next day, Cooper returned to 
the hotel to figure out what happened. Aman by the name of Harry 
Coppenburger had found his wife in bed with another man. Cooper was told 
Coppenburger killed his wife and the man and burned their bodies, 
catching the hotel on fire.

“There went my radio and all of my possessions,” he said. “I never 
got to build that radio. Years later, I became a ham radio operator and 
thought about that radio along time.“Finally I decided Iwould find 
that article. I went through Popular Mechanics magazines trying to find 
all the issues in 1945 and 1946. Here recently, I went to Google and was 
able to look at all the issues from 1944-1946 and determined that the 
February 1946 issue was the short-wave receiver.”

Sixty-nine years later, Cooper, now 83, is finally putting the pieces 

“I’ve acquired most of the parts to build the receiver,” he 
said. “It feels like a completion. Something that I wanted to do all 
these years. It’s feeling really good to do it and like I’m 
completing a project I started so many years ago. It’s like things 
haven’t been completeduntil I do that.”Cooper, who now lives in 
Friendswood, Texas, hopes to finish the radiosoon.“It will probably be 
several weeks before Ifinish building it,” he said. “I’m amazed 
that I thought that I could build this receiver when I was a kid. It’s 
not an easy project.”

Finding the parts has proved difficult.

“Thank goodness foreBay,” he said. “I thought the parts were very 
expensive then, but they’re very expensive now. It’s going to be 
worth every penny. It’s like a therapy. It’s a very satisfying 

Cooper said he finallyfeels like he’s making touch with his past.

“I always feel there’s a child within me,” he said. “But 
now, there’s a connection with that child, and that feels very good. 
It makes me feel completed.”

*Frank Cooper is working to build this short-wave receiver radio.
He started on the project in the 1940s, but it was lost in a deadly
hotel fire in Monroe.*

/Copyright © 2015, The Daily Advertiser. All rights reserved. Use of 
this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Service 
<http://www.theadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=TERMS> and 
Privacy Policy 
updated March 2007. 02/07/2015/

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.w5ddl.org/pipermail/aaraclubemaillist_w5ddl.org/attachments/20150212/aa3020e7/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 107928 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mail.w5ddl.org/pipermail/aaraclubemaillist_w5ddl.org/attachments/20150212/aa3020e7/attachment.jpe>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 35273 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mail.w5ddl.org/pipermail/aaraclubemaillist_w5ddl.org/attachments/20150212/aa3020e7/attachment-0001.jpe>

More information about the AARAClubEmailList mailing list