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My first exposure to a HAM SHACK came in 1961, at the age of 11. I marveled at W7SOP's wireless communication on 6 meters and decided I would have to try that myself! The sooner the better!
Within a year,at age 12, I had earned my Novice, Technician, and General class tickets; it was daunting to take code tests at the FCC offices, but I made it, and proceeded to get my dad to invest in some HF gear and erect some antennas, including a 60' crank up tower with a triband beam! For the next 5 years, hamming was my life. Then girls entered the picture and I put the key and microphones away. For about 25 years! I gained a wife, and a daughter; I still fondly remembered my earlier ham contacts, but never touched a rig. Until.. .
Only within the past 2 years, I became aware of the vanity call sign program, and wondered what it would be like to have my original old call and ticket priveleges back. By coincidence, a brother became licensed and visited my house with his gear. Wow, I had accidentally built a home with incredible propagation qualities for HF hamming! That sparked my interest as I watched Kevin (K7ZS) work Europeans effortlessly.
The rest is history, as I quickly restudied the regulations which had been so familiar once before. Soon I had not only recovered my childhood call sign, but snagged my Extra, at age 47!
A lot of improvements have been made to equipment over those years (and where the heck did these WARC bands come from?) What hasn't changed is my marveling at the magic of world wide wireless communications. I still enjoy it immensely!
You can sometimes catch me on 40 CW, or 20, 17, 15, or 10 SSB. Or locally on 2M in the Portland, Or. area.