First licensed in 1956 as a Novice, I was active in regional nets and casual DXing until 1992, when we moved into a new home with a small yard not friendly to hanging antennas. So, I became "radio silent." In September 2008, however, urged back on the air by longtime friend from college days, Bob, W4VQ, I raised some wires and returned to the air. I began with an Icom IC-718 and 30' of hookup wire. Later I added a Cushcraft R6000 vertical (see photos below taken January 2011) and inverted-Vees on 40 and 30 meters. On June 9, 2012 I passed the Extra Class exam and rewarded myself with an IC-7410.
While I do use SSB occasionally, I prefer CW and can handle up to 35 wpm. DXing, contests and working special-events stations are my favorite activities. In February 2010, I finally joined the DXCC, with 111 entities (Mixed) based on cards. Thanks to LoTW I've now raised the count to 214 (2013). In May, 2011, I became CW Ops member #894.
Personal information: I retired in 2007 at age 65 from a career in broadcasting--commercial radio and TV at first, then the audience ratings company Arbitron, and finally PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service (non-commercial television). I was head of audience and marketing research there for over two decades.
Other hobbies include "railfanning" (railroad history, operations, photography); playing timpani in the McLean (Virginia) Orchestra and Virginia Grand Military Band; and genealogy. I've been married to cellist/professor/marketing consultant Sheila Wexler since 1965, have one son (and daughter in law), and three grandchildren.
I'm originally from Barnwell, South Carolina, but in 1961 we moved to Florida and I spent 15 years in various central and northern cities (mainly Ocala and Jacksonville). We've lived in the Washington, D.C. area since 1976. My freshman and sophomore years were spent at Clemson University, and then I transferred to Florida State University, receiving a B.A. in Radio-Television Broadcasting. In 1975 I earned an M.A. in Communications Research from the University of Florida.
John with contest logger, Cosmo the calico cat. QSLs represent mentors and closest friends from the mid-1950s. (February 2013 photo)
Field Day with W3SMD, La Plata, Maryland club (2005)
Learning Civil War era (1861-65) American Morse at Washington, D.C. Folklife Festival (2007):
Raising a new Cushcraft R6000 vertical (20-6 meters) 6 January 2011:
While unpacking from the Dayton Hamvention (May 19, 2013), Cosmo discovered my ARRL totebag and highly approved of it:
31436 Last modified: 2013-05-21 00:04:27, 5279 bytes
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