Grew up in the Bronx, NYC. Went into the USCG in 66 and after a year on CGC Cook Inlet in Maine I went to ETA school and went to the sunny South Pacific to Yap Island, Micronesia for Loran Duty.
In 1968 I was able to get my Conditional ham license (WA2LYC) and operate KC6BY. Learned the code with help of Ryder 33 1/3 records. They sent in a licensed ham to give my test. Rare DX but only did SSB on old Hallicrafters with a homebrew linear and a TA33 Mosley low on the mast. Never worried about SWR, just tuned for maximum glow on the tubes.
Went back to RMA School and changed rates to Radioman. Got CW speed up over 30 wpm in school to pass. I was the only ham in my graduating class. Was requested out of school to Port Angeles Air in Washington. While there ran phone patches for servicemen overseas. Had 3 new Collins rigs with linears. Sometimes 3000 a month.
Left there after a promotion for Pungo Rad/Sta NMN and worked CW all the time on merchant circuits copying messages and AMVERS. Left there for another ship, CGC Pontchartrain/NRUU and worked a lot of CW and learned head copying there. Used a mill (typewriter) to copy all the time and my speed picked up drastically. Got out of the service and became a Police Officer and then became a NC State Trooper. Got married to wife of 43 years and was off the radio for over 12 years. Finally got back on the radio and worked DX and got the QRP bug. Had regular schedule with Steve N2DAN and others on CW net and he sent me a “MERCURY” paddle to get me off my bug. Had to learn how to use a paddle after years on the bug.
Made a lot of radios and antennas for QRP over the years. Helped start the SKCC group years ago when we chatted and decided to use the straight key and bug all the time. Operated several expeditions to mountains and the coast doing QRP contests. Learned how to make good antennas so we could get out with 100 mW and still get a lot of points.
More recently won awards in 160 m Stew Perry (WQ4RP) and a few others on 160 m. Love the chasing on CW. Started chasing SOTAs and then built another kit, a KX3, and started activating on mountain tops in NC, VA, and KY. Fun hiking and seeing the sights. Making more antennas was a good reward for that.
Enjoyed my 31 years in Law Enforcement as a State Trooper. After I retired I worked as a repair technician for an environmental company for 16 years. Four years ago I was talking to my wife of 43 years on the phone, hands free, and a kid on the telephone texting hit her and killed her. I quit working, and retired completely.
I’m very active in my Church and I’m Secretary in my Masonic lodge. I also am very active with the Shriners doing work for the kids in the hospitals.
When not on the radio chasing DX, hobbies now include fly and jig tying, Love fishing for trout, bass and bream with the flies and jigs. Do a lot of sewing and embroidery. My sister taught me how to make quilts and then later I learned how to longarm and finish the quilts. More recently made a lot of masks for the nurses in the hospitals.
Rigs: Kenwood TS-440S, Yaesu FTDX 3000, and kit built Elecraft K3S and P3 Pan Adapter. Antennas Carolina Windom, Hustler Vertical, and HEX beam. Keys consist of N2DAN “MERCURY”, Vibroplex Lightning Bug, Vibroplex Hand key, SKCC Cootie, and Begali Sculpture.
Over the years have worked Bert F6HKA several times and had many good QSOs. He mentioned CWops and he nominated me and I am thankful to him and those who sponsored me: AA3B, W6SX and AA6XA. I love ragchewing on CW and now have been in several of the CWTs. I hope to meet more of you on the air and look forward to a fun time with CWops.