SILENT

KEYS

 

This page is dedicated to the hams who have influenced my life as a ham radio operator and who's stations have gone silent. 

My Mom ( N4RIG ) and Dad ( N4LOV ):               

Dad, who was a B-17 Squadron Commander in the 8th Air Force during WW2 owned his own airplane during my teen years.  Busy with his work career at IBM, Dad had little time to pursue his ham ticket until after he retired.  However, both my parents fully supported my ham radio endeavors when I was their "teenager".  This included shielding me from angry neighbors who wanted me "off the air" due to TVI.  The only rule Mom and Dad enforced was - no TVI during the "prime evening viewing hours". 

Dad also allowed me to attach an antenna to the wheel struts of his airplane and he provided a 12 volt hookup for my VHF radios in the cockpit.  Many a time, if I was talking with a ham in the countryside, we would buzz over the ham's house and dad would "wiggle" the airplane wings as the ham would wave at us from below.  What fun !

Often, when I was operating my ham station after school, mom would come into my ham shack and just sit and listen.  She always said she enjoyed listening to my QSO's as there were so many nice people on the radio.  Most afternoons I would chat with Brother Lawrence, a monk at a monastery, about 45 miles away.  Mom grew very fond of these 6 meter chats and as fate would have it . . . . years later, after I had left home for the Air Force, Mom and Dad were on a retreat with our local church at the same monastery.  Mom mentioned to the monk in charge of the  retreat, that her son used to talk with a Brother Lawrence on his ham radio when he was in high school.  To her surprise, the monk went and fetched Brother Lawrence and both my parents got to meet him.  Just another of the many "wonders" of ham radio.

After mom and dad became licensed in Florida, Dad purchased a Kenwood station and we chatted many a Saturday morning on 40 meter SSB.  Below are the only 2 pictures I have of my dad at his station N4LOV:

  

Dad went on to become a VE with the local Leesburg radio club.  Mom and Dad both participated in various radio club public service communication support events. 

73 and 88 to N4RIG and N4LOV . . . . .

 I'd also like to remember my good friend John ( Pat ) Patton, W3FRV.  Pat, as his friends knew him, shared more than just ham radio with me.  He is responsible for getting me into the motorcycle hobby.  Pat "lured" me into the Frederick Honda shop one Saturday morning where I ended up with a Honda 900cc bike.  I rode that bike with Pat and the Honda club over 40,000 miles during the following 18 years.  For several summers Pat and I would ride our bikes in the evenings after work to any destination that served coffee and pie.  Pat was involved with the Frederick Amateur Radio Club and during the years I was the club President he provided continual support.  From helping setup the 448.425 club repeater to actively participating with the club's motor home, Pat was a true friend and mentor in my ham journey.

Here is Pat at a ham radio demonstration in the Fredericktown Mall on April 28, 1984: 

Another ham who became a "silent key" way too early in life was my friend Ron Baer, KT3T.   Ron passed away from cancer while in the prime of life.  Ron participated in FARC field days and worked right alongside me in setting up the FARC motor home radio station.  Ron's QTH is now at Resthaven Memorial Gardens along Rt. 15 and I often think of him everytime I pass by.   Here are some pictures of Ron, KT3T:

Ron at checkpoint #3 during the Mountain Club of Maryland's Appalachian trail hike in May of 1989:

Below is Ron operating a FARC Field Day station.

Let me not forget our good friend Charlie, WA3KHE.  Charlie, and his wife Sue, KA3LVY, always worked the Weaverton checkpoint for the Mountain Club Hike.  Weaverton is down by the Potomac river and one of the more difficult checkpoints to get a radio signal out of.  Charlie used a Hustler G6 2 meter vertical antenna which always seemed to do the trick. 

Here is a picture of Charlie, WA3KHE with the G6 antenna:

 Charlie was also a great singer and guitar player.  I had the enjoyable opportunity to "jam" with him one Saturday afternoon.  I even have a cassette tape of some of his songs that I keep even today.   "Cheers!" Charlie.


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