As a newly minted member of CWops, I’m extremely grateful to Tom WA9CW and Steve WD4CFN for their help in the CWA Intermediate class last fall; they helped me get my speed up to 25 wpm after years of 15 – 20 wpm CW-ing (is that a word?). I followed that up with an Advanced class with Serge KK7RR. Serge pushed me further than I would have believed possible, to a fairly steady 35 wpm and aspirations to 40. I appreciate everything these fine amateurs have done for me.
I grew up in west central Illinois, about 90 miles north of St Louis. Radio first got my interest when I was at Boy Scout camp and one of the counselors had a shortwave radio that he let us listen to. Not too long after that one of my junior high school teachers, Ed Ahlquist W9FOH (SK) set up a station in a corner of the classroom and I was a goner. Ed had classes after school for anyone who was interested and a few months later Jacksonville had 10 or 12 new teenage hams. I got my Novice ticket in 1959 and my General a year later, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I upgraded to Extra. Life kind of got in the way for a while.
I spent 35 years in middle schools in the same school district in west suburban Chicago, first as a teacher and finally as Assistant Principal. I also taught at Concordia University in River Forest for quite a number of years, teaching computer science classes in the evenings and summers. I loved the work but it didn’t leave much time for playing radio. Finally in 2002, a year before I retired, I got some new gear, threw up some wire and a 6 meter Yagi, and haven’t looked back yet.
Most of my work has been CW, although I also have a fair number of Qs using nearly every digital mode known to man (including Throb – have you ever heard Throb? Beautiful). Since starting in the CWA I have really enjoyed the weekly CWTs and have become almost exclusively a CW operator. I have never enjoyed phone contacts much so there aren’t too many of them in my log.
I’m looking forward to working you soon!