Born and raised in a farming community in NE Montana. The radio ‘hook’ was presented and set when I was 12 and visiting a neighbor farmer who happened to be a ham radio operator. I recall being mesmerized watching and listening to him talk to operators somewhere on the other side of the world. The warm glow of his Hallicrafters rigs and the (to me) monster tower with beam antenna put me on my path.
College, family, work were all key events for me over the years since I first saw those Hallicrafter rigs. During my life’s run I’ve been able to get my 3rd & 1st Class Radiotelephone licenses and stepped through the Amateur classes. Novice, Technician, Advanced and Extra. Initial license was WB5WAX and got KI5IO with my Advanced ticket.
Started work at the very first FM station in Montana and also worked at AM stations in Texas. Work flow following broadcast radio included: The Associated Press (communications division), American Airlines, Teleport Communications Group, AT&T Labs and finally my own company … Nolan’s Inspections. Most of my work with AT&T Labs was classified as it was following 9/11 and I was assigned to the US Government’s clandestine service groups.
Was able to spend sporadic time on-the-air with my various radios over the years and did very little CW once I got my Extra.
I’m also very involved with the development and support of Log4OM V2 logging APP. I was asked to join the Alpha Team for development/support for the new version of Log4OM V2. That experience has been and is a wonderful experience.
As I was closing in on retirement, I was able to get serious about CW and was fortunate to refresh my gray matter with the CWA Level I & II classes. Thanks go to Ron Zerr WT5RZ and Will Baber WJ9B for shepherding me through those classes.
I was also very fortunate to have many conversations and e-mails with support from Jack Ritter W0UCE (SK) about my further CW improvement steps.
I want to also extend my sincere thanks to Doug Shock K0ZU for my CWops membership nomination and to Skip Jensen K6DGW, Gary Stone N5PHT and Phil Bartash W2OZB for their sponsorship.
Now that I’ve been fully retired for a year my CW skills have improved a lot, but still have a long way to go. I’ve been dipping into the CWTs and (as has been told me time and again) that those events are one of the best ways to continue that improvement.
The best and most important part of my life is my loving, forgiving and tolerant XYL. She often just rolls her eyes and shakes her head, but is very supportive of my love of ham radio and especially CW. We have two kiddos living in Seattle and Houston and 4 grandkids with one each in college and community college.
Thanks again to everyone involved with CWops and CWA. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to join such an august group.