Geez. Break out the Geritol.
Field Day 1961. The mighty Rock Creek ARA, W3RCN. Myself, KN3OAE; my buddy
Avery, KN3NKD (W3AVE); both 16 years old, both also with Technician licenses,
are to be the 15 CW crew. Another Novice joins us, 12 year old Robbie Wachtel
(now W6RPT). 75W, crystal controlled; dipole; 24 hours; 13 QSOs.
The Club had some kind of VHF rig at the cook shack so you could work the Club
station with your own call (even Technicians). I think it was legit back then.
That August, Avery and I ride with my Dad's carpool to downtown DC, walk to the
FCC office to take the General test. Robbie shows up too! What a coincidence!
What a day! We all passed!!!
Field Day '62. Avery and I, just graduated from High School, are back on 15 CW
for W3RCN. I can't remember if Rob was there. Two new friends, younger, but
licensed longer than us, join us. VFO (maybe Avery's Heath VF-1); 3-el
homebrew beam (!!!!) on a push-up mast; 24 hours; 130 QSOs. What an
(For one of those FD's -- I think it was the second one -- Avery and I built a
CQ wheel. sparky-sparky spark-spark-p-spark...)
My first "real" contest was the 1962(?) Delaware QSO Party; you can imagine how
many QSOs a one-band non-Del station made. After that, off to W1MX, where I
came under the guidance of, inter alia, K4BVD, K4RID, and the aura of W4YHD and
K2KIR. (And where, as I have mentioned, I got us DQ'd from the 1963 ARRL DX
So, other than more reminiscing, what's the point of all this? I'm somewhere
in the middle of the age cohort here, but I'll bet none of us considers
ourselves old. There's only about one month until SS CW. (I hear that there
is some kind of 'fone DX test before then.) All right! Let's go!!
73, Art K3KU
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