[CQ-Contest] K4OJ Remembered

Georgens, Tom tom.georgens at lsil.com
Sat Feb 14 21:00:15 EST 2004

I have found myself reading every post on OJ with eagerness as the writers
speak of funny anecdotes of how Jim touched their lives.  I too knew Jim
only through long nights at Dayton and E-Mails.  I was hoping to bring my
wife to Dayton at some point, and Jim was one of the people I wanted her to

I too wanted to indulge myself by relating a K4OJ anecdote but I also wanted
to add something we can all do as a tribute to Jim.

One year at Dayton, I saw Jim in the lobby and he handed me a little
crumpled box with the hotel name on it.  I opened it up and there was a
shower cap.  I gave him a quizzical look and he said "W2 Shower Cap" and
broke out into loud laughter.  I thoroughly enjoyed the moment.  He called
me shower cap every time I saw him from that point forward.

In the past few days, many excellent ideas have come forward as  appropriate
tributes to Jim and I support them all.  They are all heart felt and Jim is
more than deserving.  I would like to add one to the list but I will need to
start with a story.

Several years ago, again at Dayton, the contest forum was held a local high
school.  At the end of the agenda, there was a contester roundtable.  One of
the panelists did not show up and, absent an accomplished contester, they
settled for asking me to join the panel at the last moment.  I was with some
real heavy hitters, K5ZD, K1AR, and W9RE I believe.  When the audience was
prompted for questions, Jim asked what we were doing to bring new contesters
into the sport.  All of us on the panel were taken aback by his comment but
I have come to appreciate that this was an important issue for Jim. 

As I read the posts, a recurring theme was Jim's proactive efforts to
recruit and develop new contesters.  Jim's contesting and station building
prowess were well documented but his passion for generating new contesters
will also be a major part of his legacy.

In the last seven days, I learned of Jim's death, two deaths in the family,
a business associate killed in a plane crash, my mother in law had a stroke,
and my wife is in the hospital 2500 miles away as I write this.  It is a
time for inevitable reflection as to our priorities and responsibilities.  

I think a fitting tribute to Jim is appropriate and, in support of this
passion for contesting that we all share, we should do all the fine things
mentioned in the prior posts, but we should also redouble our own efforts to
recruit, develop and inspire new and, especially young, contesters.  This
will mean different things to all of us but we all can play a part.  It
could be a group effort or a solitary effort but it is a commitment we all
should make.  Certainly, many among us are already doing their part, but
many of us, myself included, are not.  I think Jim would approve of a
concerted effort in this domain. 

Jim, your contribution to the sport we all love was immeasurable, the best
way to pay you back is to do our part to keep contesting a thriving and
compelling activity.

RIP OM and 73 to you all,

Tom W2SC

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