My ham radio career begin in 1960 as a shortwave listener, WPE4HUL (as issued by Popular Electronics magazine). I was all of 10 years old and spent hours watching my older brother, Travis, WN4CQJ, (later WA4MUN, now SK), assemble a Knight Kit T-50 50 watt transmitter. An old Hallicrafters SX-43 completed his end of the radio bench in our garage. By the time Travis left home for the US Navy following high school graduation, I inherited the entire work bench along with the SX-43 and the T-50. I was licensed in August 1967 as WN4GXF. The novice license was only good for one year and by the time I graduated from high school and entered the US Army my call had lapsed but not until I had worked 48 states as a novice using one crystal (7.175 mhz ). Following my military committment and marriage I enrolled at North Carolina State University and double-majored in English and History. In the spring of 1978 I was licensed as KA4AVO and was using the Heathkit twins, the SB-401 xmtr and the SB-303 rcvr. I got my first taste of DX using a small Mosley TA-32 triband beam and started racking up the numbers mostly on CW. Following NCSU I entered seminary at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary at Wake Forest, NC. I was ordained to the Christian ministry in August, 1981. We were living on the historic campus of Oxford Orphanage in Oxford, North Carolina at that time where I spent 17 years serving as chaplain, high school social studies teacher, assistant superintendent and later interim superintendent. In 1995 I was called to the Oxford Baptist Church where I served until 2003 before becoming the Director of Missions for the Flat River Baptist Association from which I retired March 31, 2014. At the present time I am an adjunct instructor in religion teaching New Testament, Old Testament, and World Religions at Vance-Granville Community College locally. During the entire period I have continued to chase DX and augmented that part of the hobby with amateur satellites for several years. I had upgraded my entire station and had a "fleet" of Icom transceivers. I was able to work 47 states via amateur satellites and could very easily find myself interested in doing exactly that again at some time in the future. In 2006 I was introuduced to 6 meters and have spent most of my sporadic E seasons since then watching the band. I operate a very modest Yaesu FT-897d and a small vhf-uhf Cushcraft triband beam. I only need Alaska on 6 for Worked All States and have been fortunate to have worked 81 DXCC entities in this time. On May 5,2011 I was thrilled to work VP8NO on six meters for one of my most exciting contacts ever. My two words of encouragement to any ham: "Learn CW." At the present time I have worked 318 DXCC entities and have been endorsed at the 310 level for DXCC (Mixed). By the way, I have recently began using the ARRL Logbook of the World and will be glad to QSL any QSO as far back at 1978. I have just completed transferring my paper logs (from 1978 forward) to LOTW and can't wait to upload my log and see how many of those missing confirmations I can find. As of November 16, 2013, I have worked 318 total DXCC entities with my most recent being S9TF on Sao Tome et Principe. Also glad to be in the logbook of FT5ZM, Amsterdam/SPI. I had worked FB8ZQ in 1983 but never got a QSL and the logs were eventually lost in a flood in France. In my spare time I am an elected member of the Granville County Board of Education having been elected 4 times and appointed twice (to fill unexpired empty seats). On Tuesday, May 8, 2012, I was reelected to a new six year term on the Granville County BOE. Susan and I have been married 43 years and we have a 32 year old son living and working in Las Vegas. I hope to meet you on the bands. 73 de K4AVO (April 30, 2014, updated)
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