Galen Johnson - WA6SBB - NAQCC # 4316
I have been a Ham for coming up on 50 years and have had the chance to meet (some actually in person) the greatest people in the world, literally, from here in CA. to a dear friend WA2TWS in N.J. to Europe and Asia. What a wonderful hobby that contains all of the "good" things a person could strive for in life; self education, meeting great people, self fulfillment, and a good work ethic.
When I was 12 years old in Jr. High school, I was lucky enough to have a science teacher who was a Ham and he was kind enough to "Elmer" me and several of my friends. We learned the Code and theory and all became Novices. That was in 1960 / 61 and I became WV6SBB in June of 1961. As with most of us, I couldn't wait for that magic letter from the FCC and I still have my Novice framed on the wall. Of all of the things I have done in my life that is my proudest possession.
My dad was a wonderful supporter of my hobby and allowed me to string wires all over the roof of hour home. He passed away in November of 1961 and I have the wonderful satisfaction of him knowing I made it, at least to Novice.
In 1962, after reaching the 8 wpm limit, I caved in and got my Tech. There I stayed, working 2 meter AM and SSB, building various pieces of equipment, which was almost as self fulfilling as working on the air.
Things slowed down on Ham radio when I married my High School sweetheart in 1973 and found that working full time in electronics took most of my energy. Then in 1978 I took and passed the First Phone and decided to re-learn CW, this time the correct way, by sound! I also persuaded my wife and son to get into Ham radio and we all took our tests, I the Advanced, 13 WPM Code, Extra, and 20 WPM Code, my wife her Tech, and my son, his Tech.
So, form my start with Home Brew 2 meter AM to 2 meter SSB with a Gonset Sidewinder to Home Brew HF (including a SK28A, which I still have) to a TS-520, then TS-930 which is down for repair and will be up and going when I find time, and now FT-450, running CW 99% of the time, I have had the time of my life and wouldn't trade it for anything!
I wish all of the kids of today could only experience that "first" CW contact which you NEVER forget and the feeling of accomplishment it gives you. There is no other feeling in the world! (I'm working on my grandkids to learn CW as well as becoming Hams.)
I have seriously considered going CW mobile but the job I have now requires a lot of concentration and I don't dare (I drive heavy equipment lowbed transport and I am frequently 12' to 14' wide and over 120,000 lbs.)
When I retire I will sit in the passenger seat and run CW mobile while my wife drives. That is what I do look forward to in the future, hopefully working my grandkids, hihi.
I am a member of FISTS # 2394, QCWA # 28082, OTC and OOTC # 4440 as well as MEGS, MTC, Wireless Pioneers, and various other wonderful Ham associations. And now, NAQCC # 4316, Thank you!
To all 73 and good CW. de WA6SBB, Galen