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!
This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.