The Silent Key Club! After posting a couple of obits here I have decided to forgo my entry into the SKC. Maybe in a decade or two, thank you very much, Mr. Grim Reaper. I vote yes for almost any club but not that one. Lets face it there are far too many fun things to learn and do. For instance:
- I would like to join, or more properly, be asked to join the FOC. Not because I am a First Class Operator, but more importantly because of the fraternity. Lord knows that after 19 months of constant code practice for an hour each day wailing away on my poor abused paddle, I should realize that FOC type perfect code is not in my future. Yet we continue to try. Perhaps someday! In any event, I am amazed at the lack of radio fraternity around these parts. I spent my formative years in the western reaches of this fine country and I am here to tell you that the fraternity available out west is simply astonishing. NCDXC, NCCC, CADXC and on and on are replete with folks that accept you and help you in any way they can. If you dont need help with Ham Radio then surely a funny joke would do. If you tire of jokes then perhaps hows about breaking bread? I miss that. In my little town of Tracy, CA there were always a bunch of guys wanting to meet up on Saturday morning for an ad hoc breakfast with a round of “Hars” and some great fraternity. There were some wonderful gentleman present at those events: Len W6AYQ a true Gent of the first order. Gary KF6U also a wonderful friend that continues to put up with my crazy phone calls and skeds to this day-20 years later. Bob, John K6YK and many more. Great times and a level of fraternity that is not to be replaced here in Texas. We were never too consumed by work or long commutes to be too tired to have a Saturday breakfast or lunch and maybe, on a good weekend, a trip over to the surplus shops or a flea market. It was always an adventure with those fellows. It should and could be that way here as well. Perhaps I just have not cracked the right walnut yet. Before Tracy there was Phoenix Az. There on any Saturday morning could be found W7RFE, W7JMS, WA7UJH, Woody, AA6DP, NO6H, W6IHA, myself and a group of many more whiling away on some subjects and time with good and constant friends. I believe the 3830 crowd still carry on but alas I cannot hear them from my present location. I wonder if they are still breaking bread at the Cave Creek Inn? The message is clear and simple: people that enjoy each other spending time with common interests.
- I really, really want to become a member of the BrassNblood Club. Yes, this harkens back to old Samuel F.B. Morse again. You see, to be a member in good standing of this club one needs to be able to walk up to any key, send good code at any speed and carry on a conversation in a room with a fellow Ham while making coffee and biscuits for the unanticipated guest-and never miss a lick at any task. Now that is a BrassNblood Club member in good standing! I can do almost none of those things correctly. But we try.
- I would like to be a member of the Club of Three. This is the club that celebrates the three people on planet earth that completely understand Maxwell’s Equations. You see, if you cannot grasp Old Mr. Maxwell completely then you cannot possibly understand “Radio”. I know this sounds glib but it is a semi secret desire of mine to attain membership in this august organization. It will require a lot more work on my part. If one understands Maxwell, one understand the “why” of it all and how things behave the way they do and RFI, E&M and “Stray Anything” are subjects that are no longer mysteries. Some would advise that knowing what you do not know should be sufficient. Not for me!
Those three bullets encapsulate my interpretation of Ham Radio. The essence being; “Fraternity”, “Proficiency” and “Knowledge”.
Now if life should ever take you to the western reaches of the United States and you find yourself anywhere near Tracy, California, be sure to look up old Gary, KF6U, and ask him about the Honorary Mayor of Banta, California (a Jackass!) and get him spinning yarns about Sunday morning jogging and early beers with a certain older, one-eyed gent with a rotund form….. he may treat you to some unforgettable fun.
Thanks for reading my blog. Best, Chas W7MAP/5