Seeing Bob Garrett, K3UL, again this year at the 160M Dinner in Dayton,
reminded me of a post I have been meaning to make to this reflector for some
If you have checked out the VK2ICV 160M website recently, you already know
that Bob now ranks as #6 in the world on 160M with 278 countries and 37 zones
worked on 1.8MHZ. This is a superb achievement for any Dx'er today; however,
Bob's achievement certainly has to rate with the very best of the best due to
the enormous handicap Bob labors under in that he is ***totally blind***.
This past Fall I had the occasion to visit with Bob at his QTH in
Williamsport, Pa. and I thought I might share some of my remembrances with
those on this reflector.
I have always marvelled at Bob's ability to navigate the band but having the
chance to spend a few days with him only served to solidify my admiration of
his achievements. Here are a few things that I think most will find both
unusual and remarkable:
1) Shortly after my arrival, Bob asked me how I like my Jeep Cherokee. (I
hadn't told him I was driving a Jeep Cherokee!)
2) A couple of hours later I observed Bob coming out of his house and walking
directly to his tower - and then remarking "You know Jeff, I am not used to
your car being parked where it is - it is really screwing me up in my route
of getting to and from the tower!"
3) Later on our return trip from dinner Bob remarking "Up ahead about a mile,
the road is going to make a big turn and my house will be the 3rd house on
the right after the turn!"
4) On going to bed " Jeff, you will find a light switch on the wall to the
right - I don't use it - make sure the bulb is still good - you sighted guys
don't do too well without those things (said tongue in cheek!)"
5) On climbing his tower "Jeff, you will find tie wraps securing the sidearms
I use for the shunt feed wire - please check them as you come down."
6) Watching Bob climb his tower, never missing a step all the way to the top.
7) Working with Bob to assemble a new Cushcraft yagi that night. Bob
identified every single part on the parts list BY FEEL and was 99% right on
both element diameter AND length for about 50 pieces of aluminum. (Simply
8) Watching Bob tune up his rig and amp (by sound) and then identifying
frequencies on the band with remarkable precision.
9) On leaving his QTH, seeing Bob (in complete darkness) start to head out to
his backyard and asking "Hey Bob.....Where are you going? The porch is the
And having Bob reply, "Jeff, I am going back out to restring my beverages
that I took down while we were working on the tower."
And my replying, "But Bob, it is totally DARK outside!"
And hearing Bob respond "Jeff, it is ALWAYS dark for me, remember? I can do
this in my sleep......!!!!!"
Anyway, it was great seeing Bob among the crowd at the 160M dinner again this
year. And thanks to Sid, K3SX, for escorting Bob along this time out.
I hope Bob doesn't feel too embarassed by this post, but I continue to be
amazed by what he has accomplished as an amateur and a superb 160M Dx'er.
His ongoing achievements rank right up there with the "best of the best" in
spite of one of the toughest handicaps imaginable.
Well done Bob!
And CU on the band.
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