Today is wintry and wet without much to keep me busy. I met my CW practice schedule earlier in the day today and so have met my single obligation. We have had a hard time getting into the Christmas mood this year and so our tree remains solidly vertical but incomplete. My son has to complete the trimmings and hang the tinsel. Except for my son, all my children are scattered with families of their own, so the usual Christmas chatter and hubbub is missing this year. All of this time to ponder got me thinking about years past and their associated holidays. One set of years in particular springs to mind immediately.
I cannot stress enough the fun we had in Phoenix at Christmas. Ok? Who in their right mind has fun in Phoenix? More importantly, who would have fun in Phoenix at Christmas? Well, normally you would be correct with your doubts. We were a lot younger then and our children only numbered 2 at that point, not the current four. It was about 1980 and we made a lot of our own entertainment.
In 1980 a few of the locals used to hang out on the 10 meter band. It was a place to meet in the evenings with little chance of interfering or being heard very far off because the band was generally dead during those late evening hours. Five or six of us met regularly after our dinner hour was completed and it was time to relax. Many of the worlds problems were solved during those QSO’s.
One year someone had the bright idea to do a Radio Santa deal for the kids on 10 meters. One person would feign being Santa while the rest had their little ones on their laps waiting to talk to the Man Himself. What great fun! I can almost feel the laughter again just remembering it. There they were: K7NA, K2RXY, K7CI, W6LH, AC7U and several others who’s calls I have forgotten. Grown men all, pretending to have a link to Santa. I cant remember who got the chore of being Santa. It may have rotated a bit from year to year. Whomever it was did a great job because my sides would ache following one of those sessions.
I can still see my eldest girls waiting expectantly for the appointed hour… standing in the family room with Dads radio and dressed in their sleeper jammies, ready for bed immediately after making the call to Santa. The content wasn’t the important part. The anticipation, the family time and the memories that resulted were priceless. Here we are twenty seven years later and the kids still talk about those Christmas Eve evening chats with Mr. Clause.
If we were to try this again with the same fellows this year we would have to move to 20 meters or perhaps 40 meters. Nothing stays the same. We too scattered across the USA. However, we stay in touch from time to time. Three, four or more times a year we chat via email or perhaps the isolated radio contact. It isn’t the same. It never is. But we have the memories.
Who says Christmas is for kids!