Reunion - Ham Radio Style

Eating Meeting

Over the holiday weekend, we had house guests in the form of a couple that I have known since 1960 or so. I met Dick and Taffy on 2 meters AM in California when I was still in high school. We became good friends in those days. We also had a lot of mutual ham radio friends on the air and in person back then.

We got back in touch with them after a lot of years via email a couple of months ago when they found me and invited me to a reunion out in California of a bunch of other hams we knew. We weren’t able to go for a variety of reasons, but kept in touch hoping for a meet and greet opportunity. It so happened that Dick and Taffy were in Arizona to attend a grandson’s graduation from technical school in the Phoenix area on Saturday. We had previously offered to host them here at our place for an extended visit after the grandson’s grad event. They arrived here on Sunday afternoon.

The third party in the reunion was Jim, one of those mutual friends back then, who has recently relocated to the Prescott, AZ, area. Since we planned a Labor Day grilled steaks dinner, we invited Jim and his wife, Shirley, to attend which they graciously accepted. We all had a great visit, dinner and more visit before the confab broke up just before dark. Jim and Shirley headed back north, Dick and Taffy stayed one more night here and the latter departed this morning, returning to California.

We really enjoyed all the story swapping, getting caught up on other friend’s activities and learning about ancestry and genealogy tactics (we may soon use some of those). By the way, everyone present on Labor Day would be considered right-wing lunatics by the anti-constitutional left. Of course, normal people would consider us Patriotic Americans. It was a good and enjoyable reunion and encounter and we hope to be able to have a redux soon.

6 Comments

  1. drjim said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 14:36:58

    Always a good thing to get togther with friends.

    2M AM? There was very little activity back in Illinois when I was in high-school. We were all busy pounding brass in the Novice bands so we could get our code speed up to the magic 13wpm and pass our General exams!

  2. CapnBob said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 16:53:29

    In the late 50’s, novices had 145-147 privileges - voice, RTTY, MCW and CW. Also the novice ticket was only good for two years to get up to 13wpm, so, I was lazy and advanced to Tech where I only had to pass the General theory in a take-at-home test. I then proceeded to get stuck in the vhf loop for the next 20 years before advancing to extra.

    I did legitimately upgrade at the FCC office in Long Beach for the advanced/extra writtens and 13/20 wpm code. That was over 40 years ago.

  3. drjim said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 21:29:36

    I got my Novice 1964, good for one year, and we had 2M privileges, but there just wasn’t much activity. One of my friends couldn’t hack 13wpm, so he took the written, and got his Technician class. He had a Hallicrafters SR-42 2M AM rig, and a small beam at 25′, but just didn’t work many people and lost interest.

  4. CapnBob said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 22:00:15

    Fortunately for me, there was plenty of activity on 2 meters in California - especially on the K6MYK repeater on Mount Lee in the Hollywood hills (right above the H’wood sign). I met the friends in this article on Art Gentry’s repeater (W6MEP). There was also plenty of activity in the form of transmitter hunts, contests, public service (civil defense) Civil Air Patrol, etc that promoted activity. Soon after, the FM surplus rigs became available and we converted to FM after that. Good old days!

    Still, I should have gotten my code speed up to upgrade but was too into having fun with VHF.

  5. drjim said,

    September 6, 2019 @ 13:56:49

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the Ham Radio culture here is very different than in Kalifornia. My “9-Land” experience is so out-of-date that only the theoretical stuff is valid!

    The Field Day operation I dropped in on was run like the Keystone Kops from what I saw, byt I think these guys are more into the “Olde Time” FD operating mode, rather than running as a full-blown contest setup like back in Kali.

    Lots of special event support and Storm Watching here, and I haven’t seen or even heard of any kind of contest-style operating.

    One guy between here and Wellington has a very impressive weak-signal station, but nobody seems to know him. I spent a couple of weeks going between google maps and QRZ adrdess search, and finally found out who he is, a big 6 Meter guy who regularly reports to the QST “World Above 50 MHz” section.

    Weak-signal and operating the linear-transponder satellites just doesn’t seem to be too popular out here. Same with digital mode operating. I keep hearing “Nobody does that”, and “That’s too hard to do”, so it looks like I’m a “Lone Wolf” operator here…..

  6. CapnBob said,

    September 6, 2019 @ 17:05:17

    I have a good friend, Barry, N0KV, who was last known to be in Parker outside of the Denver Area. Barry, I and many others used to go to mountain tops in CA to compete in the June or January weak signal VHF/UHF contests. Barry was (and still may be) interested in Search and Rescue in the Denver area. Barry is retired USAF. His wife, Pat was also involved in all of that.

    I worked Barry in Colorado on meteor scatter (Perseids) back before I broke down my station in Torrance.

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