Stew Perry Topband Challenge
Class: Single Op QRP
Operating Time (hrs): 11
Total: QSOs = 272 Total Score = 2,136
Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club
"The Ghosts of QRP"
Last night, I had a strange and haunting dream. I had gone to a party that was
populated by many of our usual comrades. Ordinarily, I dress up quite proudly
for these affairs, but on this evening I was dressed very plainly. It was
early in the evening, but several of my friends from the other side of the lake
were already there, conversing with other guests. I approached one of them and
tried to get his attention. He completely ignored me. Eventually, I began to
wonder if he could even see me. I was confused by this, and began to look for
another of my friends from the other side of the water.
"Ah," I said to myself. There's Tur. I'll go talk with him. "Hey, Tur! It's
Peter, K3ZM." He didn't acknowledge me. "Tur - what's up? It's K3ZM." No
response. Worse still, it was as though I was invisible.
I spotted Luis across the room. Thank goodness! He will recognize me, of
K3ZM: Luis, what's up? It's Peter, K3ZM.
K3ZM: Hey, it's Peter. K3ZM K3ZM K3ZM!
I wondered what on Earth was happening. This was really unsettling. I felt
like a ghost. It was still early in the party and at that moment I heard
DL6FBL nearby. He was dressed quite prominently and stood out among the other
guests. I went over and said hello to him. At first, he was unsure of my
identity but eventually he held out his hand and said, "Hello, Peter." But our
handshake was somehow unsatisfying and the exchange left me still feeling a bit
I helped myself to some hors d'oeuvres and walked around a bit. Then I noticed
G4AMT across the room. "Hey, how's it going? It's Peter, K3ZM." He replied
immediately, "Hello, Peter," and his handshake was firm, warm and dry. "That's
more like it," I said to myself.
But then I approached several other friends and, one by one, they acted as
though I was not even there. After several disturbing episodes like this, I
decided to try congregating with folks who live more in my neighborhood. Some
of them acted strangely, as well, but at least they seemed to recognize me.
After a while, my older brother came by to say hello. But he also seemed
different - nothing like his usual self. He wished me luck and vanished as
quickly as he had come. Wow. What a strange party. I did not know what to
I wanted to chat with some more of the regulars, so I found a tall, round,
stand-up table in a corner of the room where there were no other conversations
taking place. I began waving my hands in the air, trying to attract some other
guests for a conversation. I decided to offer an incentive: "Hey, come over
and talk to me! I'm K3ZM. I can provide you with four free hors d'oeuvres if
you join me at my table for a moment." My incentive plan worked for a while,
but eventually interest in the free hors d'oeuvres faded and I was back to
trolling the party for interesting conversation.
Ahah! There's good old Herb behind the bar pouring drinks. You can always
count on Herb to be here! I walked over and requested a drink, but some guy
from Indiana sneaked ahead of me. I frowned in annoyance as Herb handed him
his drink. Herb and his neighbors always serve me first. Always. Without
fail. I shrugged my shoulders and started to request my drink, but some other
guy muscled in ahead of me again. This is ridiculous! These guys don't seem
to understand the program. I always get my drink first at this bar. Finally,
it was my turn. I was actually relieved when Herb said, "Hello, Peter. What
will you have?" "Rum punch," I said. "And you had better make it a double."
Much later in the evening, as the glow from the rum punch faded, I noticed one
of Lloyd's neighbors. They live in a multi-family dwelling not far from his
location. "Aloha, dudes! It's Peter, K3ZM." Nothing. I tried again.
Finally, "K3ZM K3ZM K3ZM!" No recognition. They did not realize that I was
Eventually, the party faded into a blur as the guests thinned out and it got
very late. It was a most unsatisfying evening. I began to lose track of where
I was. . .
I awoke in front of my radio confused and disoriented. I rubbed the sleep out
of my eyes. I must have fallen asleep at the key. The sun was rising over the
Bay. The bad dream was beginning to fade. I reached down to the little black
knob at the bottom of my radio and turned it clockwise until the screen read
the usual 37W. I then turned to my left and hit the rocker switch on the 91B.
The wait light glowed red. The Earth was beginning to turn properly on its axis
again. I poured a hot cup of coffee and started to feel normal. Then I decided
to compose myself by re-reading the current issue of CQ. Thank heaven it was
all just a dream.
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