[CQ-Contest] K4OJ Remembered

Hanlon, Steve SHanlon at dnr.state.md.us
Tue Feb 17 10:13:34 EST 2004

> 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. 

the first step in bringing new, younger (30's??) contesters into the fold would be to introduce them to ham radio.  i have known about ham radio since i was 9 or 10.  several family friends and the assistant boy scout leader were hams.  i thought about the hobby for many years and finally, at the urging of a co-worker went and took the exam.  that was in July 2003.  this past weekend i passed the CW exam and now have my General.  yesterday i bought the ARRL's Extra Class Manual and resolved to take the test in April.

i see myself as an anomoly in this hobby and even more so in the sub hobby of contesting.  i'm 31 years old, have been married 5 years, have a nearly 3 year old son, and am a few years into my career.  i have several hobbies that i am passionate about, ham radio, specifically contesting, at the fore.  i don't know anyone i can bring into the hobby.  i have explained contesting to a few friends, but they just haven't figured out the point of how it could be fun to sit in a room staring at a computer screen and turning a knob.  i never brought up the fact they do the same thing when they play video games.  

so Tom, your idea is the ultimate challenge.  the deciding factor for me was going out to a local Feild Day setup and seeing that there was more to the hobby than a bunch of computer and electronics geeks with no interpersonal skills.  there were normal people out having fun and making contacts with far away places.  when they sat me down in front of a radio position to watch an operator, i knew right then i was hooked.  in Novemeber, i was invited to a local SweepStakes effort and within an hour i knew my main focus in the hobby would be contesting followed by chasing DX.  

i might be able to get 1 person into the hobby, but does the XYL really count as a new person?  she is excited to see the QSL cards.  i think she wants some for herself.  beyond her and possibly my son, i am at a loss.

steve hanlon


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