Brian, your comments about digital modes made me think back on times
"BDM," (before digital modes). The occurrence I'm about to describe clarified
what it takes for me to feel accomplishment in the "on the air" part of Ham
radio. This happened over 40 years ago.
While I was on one of 20 trips to South America that allways included
operating from HK0, San Andres, a lifelong buddy of mine in Illinois drove out
to our home and asked my wife to let him fire up my station. He got on the
air and worked two DXpeditions at a couple very rare locations, using my
call. He knew I didn't have those two and they might not be on again for many
While he was there, he filled out QSL cards for the contacts, took them
with him and sent them out. Neither he nor my wife or daughters mentioned
this occurrence to me. Getting the cards would be the big surprise.
So later, when the cards came, I looked at the date and started asking
questions. My buddy was all giddy about what he had done for me. Everybody
gets their jollies in different ways and that's what makes the world go
around. I can't think of a reason why I would complain about how others get
theirs. But I remember looking at those cards and realizing that they meant
nothing to me. There was no satisfaction in the fact that they had been worked
from my station, because I was not part of the equation. .
I thanked my buddy. For him, his jollies came from getting in the log and
getting the cards, by any means possible. I respect that and didn't argue.
He laughed and said "Those were P.O.A. contacts." That means "power of
attorney." I wasn't happy until I had worked those two entities myself. This
all made it clear to me how I get satisfaction from on-the-air contacts.
73, Barry, W9UCW
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