First of all, what an honor it is to be a brand-new member of CWops! I also owe a huge debt of thanks to my brother, Neall (W5NED), my long-distance Elmer and best friend, and to Greg (W0GAS), my 2nd long-distance Elmer, both of whom have mentored me thru amazing times in CW and as a ham radio operator!
After having lived my first 63 years in Colorado, I knew it was time for a change. My wife and I hated the bad traffic near Denver where we lived, the horrible cost of living, and the cold winter weather. So, my wife and I packed up our 2 dogs, drove 1,780 miles to Ocala, Florida in late 2014, and bought a 10-acre horse farm. We owned and boarded 2 horses near Littleton where we lived, so we had them comfortably shipped out to Ocala where they would take up residence on our new farm. A third horse would soon join our other two horses, as well as 2 more rescue dogs and my 7’ boa which I had shipped from Littleton. Thus, we have now spent the last 7 years in Ocala on ‘Manitou Oaks Farm’ with our 4 dogs, 3 horses, and 1 pet snake.
Thanks to inspiration from my brother Neall, I became seriously interested in ham radio and worked my way up the ranks earning my Technician ticket in 2017 and, finally, my Extra ticket in 2018. I had retired from teaching biology as a profession in 2004, so with a background in biology and no electronics experience whatsoever, I found studying thru 2017 and 2018 to earn my ham licenses to be a real, but amazingly fun challenge.
With Neall’s help and a wonderful Christmas present from my wife, Marilyn (who is now KN4CRK), I set up a IC-7300 rig and established my ham shack. I now have two 130’ EFHW antennas 50’ over our trees as my antennas for HF, and a Comet GP-3 antenna in my attic for my recently purchased Yaesu FTM-7250D UHF/VHF/Digital system. I have added a Yaesu FT-60 HT, a Morserino-32, 2 Bencher iambic paddles, and a torsion tar horizontal straight key to my set-up, and own 2 QRP QCX CW transceivers, one of which I will be using over the next few months to begin POTA activations thru the numerous state parks near Ocala.
My CW journey began late in 2019, where starting to learn CW at the age of 68 presented a wonderful challenge. Through 2+ years of work on CW, I now am now CWops member 3110, SKCC member 22341T, FISTS #19710, and LICW member #810.
Learning CW has been a life-changing experience for me, and I find that I love splitting my time between my horizontal SK and my iambic paddles. I love any weekend, CWT, SKCC, or K1USN SST event, and find that being a retired 70 year-old CW operator on a horse farm in Ocala, Florida has been nothing short of spectacular!This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.