[CQ-Contest] OJ remembered

K1to at aol.com K1to at aol.com
Fri Feb 13 17:23:28 EST 2004

OJ remembered...

One of the many wonderful things about ham radio is that it transcends age.  
Thus, as a teenager in CT, I spent the majority of my free time with the 
Murphy's Marauders members who had welcomed me enthusiastically into the group.  
The White family was a prominent segment of that group and, despite a few 
of age difference, Jim and I became friends quickly. 

Drove to/from Dayton 1977 with Jim.  My Opel Manta's water pump blew on rte 
80, with Jim driving and we spent the next hour sorting through incoming WA1QNF 
QSLs while we waited for help to arrive.  Amazingly, there was an Opel dealer 
in the thriving metropolis of nearby Clearfield and we were able to resume 
the journey home by Monday afternoon.  One of the scariest moments in my life 
was looking over to realize that Jim was having an epileptic seizure, very 
likely because he'd not brought along enough medicine for that extra day. 

"Happiness is a good run."  That was the byline on the 1977 ARRL DX Test 
results, authored by Jim White, K1ZX/WA1NNC and Dan Street, WA1QNF.  Along 
with Bill Jennings, WA1AHI/K1WJ, who became a tragic SK 2 summers ago, the three 
of us spent a fabulous summer checking logs and yukking it up.  I had just 
graduated from high school, while Jim was dating the girl that ended up being 
(first) wife.

Not long after that, the Whites all moved to Homestead, FL, just south of 
Miami.  Bob, K1XA, another good ARRL friend, and I took a week of vacation in 
Fort Lauderdale one spring and made a special trip down to see Jim.  

Soon after that, Jim had a very serious auto accident and was laid up with 
multiple injuries for quite a while.  

For a number of years from then, the only time I'd see Jim would be in 
Dayton.  Many have, very appropriately, chronicled Jim's adventures at Dayton.  
Despite being immersed in a ham radio family day in and day out, Dayton was 
consistently the highlight of Jim's year.  It was during those years that Jim met 
and married Teresa and became an instant grandparent.

After Hurricane Andrew destroyed Ellen and Bob's home, the Whites all moved 
to the Tampa area on the other coast of FL.  There, they collectively began to 
build up a very solid contest station.  

In March 1994, just under 10 years ago, Jim established the Florida CW 
Contest Group which soon became the Florida Contest Group.  Jim served as President 
for the first 4+ years of the club.  When this writer took over in September 
1998, the club foundation was solid and it's been a pleasure to build and build 
upon that.  

Jim particularly liked to host multi-ops and consistently invited anyone and 
everyone to his operations.  Perhaps operating at W2PV in the mid 1970s seeded 
that interest.  Here are some recent highlights:

-  W1AW/4 in 2000 was a huge success, due greatly to OJ's coordination.  With 

WC4E and I overseas for WRTC, Jim led the effort to have 6 separate stations 
on the air across Florida with 2 band/modes each.  I believe that the score 
attained by W1AW/4 that year remains the record for all of the W1AW/* 
operations.  There was a terrific write-up about this in NCJ, I think.

-  In Nov 1996, Jim kindly asked me to join him for an SS CW M/S, even though 
he had finished 4th as a Single Op the year before and was itching for a win. 
 We managed to win M/S that year, unseating the four-year championship run of 
-  The following Nov 1997 saw Jim sport his new K4OJ callsign.  Along with 
his folks, he piloted the station to a second straight win in the M/S category.  

-  2 weeks later, K1TO hosted a pair of Multi-Singles for SS SSB and Jim 
enthusiastically operated some SSB (a mode that was largely banned at the 
W1YL/W1CW QTH), all in the name of maximizing FCG points.
-  Initially, it appeared that the K0RF team had pushed K4OJ down to 2nd 
place in SS CW 1998, but revised results published a month later showed that the 
Whites had their three-peat.
-  2 weeks later, OJ returned here for another fun battle of Multi-Singles 
(although one of the entries never got published).  Jim had by far our best 
hour, something like a 157 hour.  The fun that he had doing that was just 
mesmerizing for the rest of us to watch.  

-  Feb 1997 - Jim invited me back for a M/2.  When another promised op failed 
to materialize, we did essentially a 2-man effort, giving me a good intro to 
DX from FL.
-  Feb 1998 - Time to try a Multi-Multi.  One of the absolutely mind-blowing 
experiences of my "career" was hearing JAs peaking at 599+30 on 160 Meters!  
And with a single yagi, we still beat all the M/Ms on 15M.
-  Feb 2000 - Along with Kevin, N4KM, Team OJ beat out Team N4WW for top W4 
M/S to sneak into the box at #5, less than 5% from #2.
-  Feb 2003 - Less than one year ago, and using the K4NNN callsign, another 
#5 finish.

-  After the passing of Bob, W1CW in November 2002, Jim and Ellen set out to 
expand the station capabilities, in preparation for a W1CW Memorial operation 
for CQWW 2003 on essentially the one-year anniversary of Bob's passing.  
While those results are not out yet, it was again a labor of love as many 
contributed to the station upgrades and the ultimate operation.  With 10 operators, 
and using the W1CW callsign, they achieved their goal of honoring Bob.

Jim's health declined over a long period of time, but as many of you 
recognized and emphasized, his enthusiasm and positive outlook were staunchly 
consistent.  In one of my last e-mail exchanges with Jim, he told me that I'd soon be 
able to retire from antenna work at the W1CW station because he would once 
again climb proudly.  

When WC4E and I wearily exited our return plane from the WRTC in Finland in 
July 2002, we were met with a K4OJ-organized group of FCGers waving banners and 

greeting us back.  Quite amazing since we were something like 4 hours late 
and arrived at 1 AM.

Long road trips to Fort Walton Beach and Miami in recent years gave us a 
chance to crank up the classic rock and get caught up.

One of Jim's greatest pleasures was developing funny phonetics.  For some odd 

reason, N4BP and WC4E were the butt of many of those cracks...

There are just a zillion stories like this and there is just no way to give a 

comprehensive recall here and now, but I hope this has provided a flavor of 
the man that OJ was, from my personal perspective.

Thanks to all of you who have already posted tributes to Jim.  Some of the  
suggestions regarding memorial awards are great, and the FCG will be setting up 
a number of awards as well.  Thanks also to K5KG, W4IX and K3TEJ for 
dedicating their J7 effort next weekend in Jim's memory.  I'm also hearing of some 
plans to honor Jim at Dayton in May.

The next issue of the FCG Gazette will be solely dedicated to K4OJ, the 
founding father of this great club.  

Since promoting the FQP was yet another source of joy for Jim, I encourage 
everyone to circle the last weekend of April on your calendars and get on the 
air as much as you can in the Florida QSO Party, in honor of Jim.  

As mentioned earlier, Jim became a devoted father and grandfather, in 
addition to all of his contesting interests.  Teresa White would appreciate hearing 
from any of you at:  3527 King George Ln., Seffner, FL  33584-6117

As an only child, Jim ("Jamie") was the apple of Ellen's eye and I just hope 
that we can all help Ellen through this staggeringly difficult time of losing 
her husband and only son in less than 15 months.  

At Ellen's request, the W1CW Memorial Fund is now the W1CW/K4OJ Memorial 
Fund.  In lieu of flowers, Ellen prefers that contributions be made in Jim's 
name to that fund.  Any donations should be made out to the Florida Contest 
Group with a note to the effect that it is designated for the K4OJ Fund.  Please 
mail any donations to the FCG Treasurer:  Fred Perkins, 3437 Lake Josephine 
Drive, Lake Placid, FL  33852.

RIP and Keep Smiling, old friend.

Dan, K1TO/4

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