He built his own antennas back in the day. I was so impressed that a length of wire or one in the shape of a square could be used as an antenna! Later on as a teenager other things became more important, and radio took a backseat, but never left.
In 1999 working as a Fulton county firefighter, one of my fellow firefighters exposed me to his 2m radio and showed me his phone patch. “Hooked” again by the radio phenomena, my thoughts were Wow! Better than CB radio, now I can be like a TV police and get patched through to a telephone system. I took the Tech test and passed. I went on to become a 20wpm Extra in less than a year. This is when real radio began for me with CW. I became obsessed with CW, it being similar to golf where you never get a low enough score. I was always wanting to be better and was competing against myself.
I met one of my Elmers on the 2m repeater. He (K4BEH Pat) took me under his wing and helped me with my CW by introducing me to Traffic Handling. I got involved with the Ohio Valley Training net where I learned how to send and receive messages with Pat’s guidance as I needed it. It wasn’t long and I was able to send and receive messages on the Georgia State net at 20wpm. Of course writing everything down. Then I began enjoying rag chews, and wearing a pen and paper out. I couldn’t understand how Pat could drive down the road, carry on a conversation with me in the car while having a QSO in CW.
I skipped about 10 years of ham radio with family life and work, only to return to CW and Amateur Radio in 2019. Now retired from the fire service, I began to enjoy CW again. My wife said, “This is déjà vu”, She has de-de dah-dah, coming from the shack again. My good friend Hal (WB4AEG) told me about the CW Academy. He said, Some of the higher speed ops are coming out of the CWA.” So I signed up! I set a goal of head copy and a speed of 25 wpm. Hopefully one day I can be like my Elmer, SK K4BEH. There’s much owed to the CWA and my advisor AJ1DM for giving me tools necessary to increase my CW vocabulary and achieve my goals. “Always challenging , but not crushing.” Although I’ll never be as good as I want to be, I’m as good as I can be because of the CW Academy!This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.