Prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1955, I took the entry battery tests. Guess what? I aced the code test, E I S T. Then I was told that I was guaranteed a school of my choice. Entry into the Navy was at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The Mayor gave us the oath and then we were off to the training center at Bainbridge, MD. The Navy band directory found out that I played the Sousa-phone which he did not have in his band. I was drafted into the Navy Band and did not have to spend all day out in the June/July hot sun.
Then the interview came to pick my school. The top of the list was the Navy School of Music. The 2nd choice was Communications Technician School and it had no description, very interesting and that is what I picked.
So, this Pennsylvanian living in a coal mining town was about to see the world. I had a plane reservation from La Guardia NY to San Diego and into RM school. I did not know how to type, so spent almost six weeks every night at school learning the keyboard and typing without looking at the keys. Then transferred to Communications school in Imperial Beach, CA, not far from Tijuana.
My 1st duty station was Wahiawa, Hawaii for three years, then to Midway Island after reenlisting. After 20 years, I retired in Chesapeake, VA, June 1975, and was hired to be a Dockmaster at the Atlantic Yacht basin, later assistant manager of the marine store.
In 1987 we moved to Vancouver, WA built a house, then was hired by Foremost Forwarders in Portland, OR., a paperwork mill that moved military household and personal effects around the world. I was a friend of every Military Transportation Officer around the world.
I took the Technician test in April 1995 along with wife Barbara. Although I had not heard any Morse code in over 15 years, I went in and aced the 13 WPM test. I studied at work during my 15-minute breaks and soon became an Extra class with 20 WPM. Six months after becoming a Tech, I was voted onto the Radio Club board where I kept getting reelected and finally gave it up after 12 years. I did a lot of things for our radio club: 50/50 fundraiser at the ARRL Seaside Convention, ran and organized operators for our fundraiser at the free coffee stand on I5 NB, Field Day committee, organized operators for the Veterans Day Parade, and the Parade of Bands and our annual awards banquets. The Radio Club has presented me with Operator of the Year, Community Service Award and a plaque for logging more than 100 CW QSOs at Field Day.
One May in 1998 I got into the Texas QSO Party and worked a W3DYA in many counties. I knew nothing about County Hunting. But I send a bunch of QSL cards to Norm and he replied with receipts. Then he sent me a stack of paperwork describing county hunting and I was immediately hooked.
I have set up a County Hunting table at the ARRL SeaPac Convention in Seaside, Oregon where I was able to get several former members to renew, some to join and gave out lots of information. I also worked the booth for a bit at the Dayton Convention. I can’t wait for conditions to improve so we can make more contacts. My heart is in it.
In 2012, Barbara and I co-hosted the MARAC National Convention here in Vancouver. It was well-attended and I am still hearing good comments in regards from those that attended.
In 2017, I began doing the MARAC awards. All I did was ask one question, and I was selected. I had an excellent teacher, Patty W8TAX. I am really enjoying doing the awards and have had an opportunity to speak to many County Hunters on the phone. I am looking forward to the new software program that will be online soon.
During my mobile trips, we have traveled many back roads putting 1357 counties on the air and earning 284 last county awards. We have seen and enjoyed many parts of the United States that we only dreamed about.
This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.