RadioShack Corp. is preparing to shut down the almost-century-old retail chain in a bankruptcy deal that would sell about half its store leases to Sprint Corp. and close the rest, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

Amazing RadioShack lasted as long as it did. For me, RadioShack will always be an icon of America's 20th century consumer electronic history—a history I feel fortunate to have caught a piece of.

When I was about ten years old, give or take, in the late 1980s, I bought a handheld CB radio from RadioShack with some allowance money I'd saved. A few other pals in my neighborhood also had CBs. One of my friends managed to rig up a truck CB in his room. He wired it to a car battery and ran a ridiculously high antenna out of his bedroom window that he somehow convinced his parents to let stand.

Our radios were only good for about a 1–2 mile radius, but that was plenty of range for communication during "wars," talking with random truckers passing through, and late-night conversations when we were supposed to be asleep.

Those CBs weren't just our "phones." They were our Internet.

via DF