The holiday season is a time for gathering
with family and friends, celebrating our many
blessings, and of course exchanging gifts. As
I think back over the years, I’m thankful for
the many gifts I’ve received from amateur radio
– a chance to expand my technical skills,
volunteer opportunities within the local
community, and of the course the many friends
I was first licensed back in the prehistoric
era of the 1960s. Back then all telephones had
wires and a rotary dial, there was no Internet,
and computers were mainframes that needed punched cards for input. I
remember running into quite a few young hams about my age as I made
my first QSOs. Without today’s social media sites like Facebook, how
did we keep in touch? We had “scheds” where we would all meet up on
the same HF frequency once a week or so. I was then living in the
San Francisco Bay Area and remember keeping active scheds with two
young hams in southern California, Roger and Harv. We met regularly
on 40 meter CW until, as I recall, our draft numbers came up and we
disappeared into the great vortex of life.
Fifty years later, I find myself retired in northern Virginia and
once again finding time to return to amateur radio. One evening at
an OVH club meeting, in walked a new member, Harv WB6TTF. That call
sounded familiar. Could it be the same Harv from our sched days?
I’m not sure he remembered me at first – probably thought I was
pulling his chain. But after a little searching of his archives,
he found my QSL card from 1967 (below). Small world …
My QSL card to Harv from 1967. (As a youngster on a tight budget, I had used a felt tip pen to change the original Novice callsign WN6UIE to my new General Class call, WB6UIE.)
1 thought on “VP’s Corner”
Hello Jeff and all,
It is a very small world. When Jeff WB6UIE approached me at my first meeting of OVH and asked me if I remember the sched we used to have I honestly didn’t remember. The years take a toll on some folks (HI HI). I had my QSL cards to look through but couldn’t find Jeff’s, until I had to clean out my office to prepare for painting. And there it was in another stack of QSLs.
In March of ’67, I had just recently entered Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles and had just recently obtained my General Class license. I had just turned fifteen and loved my amateur radio hobby. My Dad and I built a Heathkit DX-60A together and I had a Hammarlund HQ-110 receiver. I would sit for hours and copy code and talk to people all over the country. I absolutely loved it!
In 1970, after high school, I went active duty in the Navy as a Radioman. Because I was proficient in Morse Code, I was made an instructor at the Radioman ‘A’ School in San Diego. My “ham career” went on hold until about two years ago when I discovered Drake gear on Ebay. A story for another day.
After about fifty years of inactivity I’m back in the hobby with a Drake C-line, a Drake TR4-C and a verticle. I retired from Prince William Hospital as a Registered Respiratory Therapist and now I’ve got all the time in the world to enjoy Amateur Radio!
It is a very small world!
73 Harv WB6TTF