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Like many young boys growing up during the 1960's I followed America's space program with great interest and fascination. Yes, I also drank alot of Tang just like the rest of you space-race "junkies", but these were the days of astronaut-heros when Buck Rogers became the real deal. So, as crappy tasting as it was, if you wanted to be an astronaut...you HAD to drink Tang(Hi! Hi!).

Imagination goes a long way so I played astronaut with a GI-Joe walkie-talkie (my introduction to wireless comunication)clutched in one hand while I worked the imaginary controls, inside the giant cardboard box that my mother's new washing machine came in, with the other. The kid, who lived next door, had the other walkie-talkie and used his dog's house as his "space capsule". I guess he figured that being chewed-up by 10,000 fleas was a small price to pay for being he first "man" on the moon!

These were also the days when every mission was televised, and I was right there, glued to the T.V. screen, watching Walter Cronkite (the natural choice),

as the countdown, which almost always seemed to be interrupted by some technical glitch, agonizingly, had to be paused while the ground crew at NASA figured things out! I wonder how many of those guys got their start by trouble-shooting Heathkit equipment?

All-in-all, I have to contribute America's race to be the first to put a man on the moon THE major factor that sparked my interest in science, in general, and electronics, SWL, and Ham Radio, in particular.

Therefore, my QSL card (one of which is pictured here) is a tribute to those gone-by-days of steely-eyed missle men who challanged the imagination of a young boy to fly through the heavens with men like Pete Conrad, Jim Lovell, Alan Shepard and the rest.

Although I never became an astronaut...I can still, in a sense, "Fly" through space every time I bounce my signal off the Ionsphere in search of some far off DX contact.

You see, today, my "space capsule" is no longer that giant, discarded, cardboard box, but has since become a modest "radio shack" and my "launch pad" is a either a simple length of copper wire or a more complex assembly of aluminum tubing...depending on where I want to "fly"!

73, until our signals meet somewhere in the upper reaches of the atmosphere!

N5BLY

 

 

 

62216 Last modified: 2014-02-28 16:54:50, 4206 bytes

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