First of all, with the summer of 2013 quickly approaching, it's time to reflect on how I got started in ham radio some 30 + years ago. Actually, it goes back earlier to my Elmer, Bill Still, W2GJR/VE2 (SK- RIP). Bill was a friendly guy on my street back in Dollard des Ormeaux (DDO). He had a zillion antennas on his roof--yagis, loops, verticals, dishes, eggbeaters--and more.
He was a kindly man in the neighbourhood. He fixed people's radios,TVs, tape-recorders, and walkie-talkies for the Police and Firemen. He had movie night in his garage/driveway for all the kids nearby every other Friday in the summer--and it was FREE. All you had to do was show up with a lawnchair and enjoy. And of course, it didn't hurt to get there a little before 7/1900 for a good place to put your chair. He even supplied the popcorn.
From those beginnings, a friendship ensued and I became Bill's helper. He was divorced with no kids and had lots of errands and chores to do and he gave me a few bucks to help him out. One day, he needed some help cleaning up the basement. When we went downstairs, I saw that it was filled with radios. I mean, it was like being in an airplane cockpit--radios wall-to-wall. I was just 10 years old and was instantly fascinated with the lights and dials of his Collins, Drake and Hallicrafters rigs. Then, while I was cleaning the floor and emptying boxes, he turned on his minty Collins 51J4 and I heard my first sounds of cw. I was hooked after that and did as many odd jobs for Bill just to get a listen here and there of those melodic sounds of cw. After a few weeks, he saw that I was keenly interested in cw and began to teach me code and electronics. And of course, he gave me odd jobs to do-- but only after I listened to the 51J4 and read back to him what I copied from W1AW. I got better and better at my cw and made a few bucks here and there to get tools and supplies to make go-carts-- but none of this would have happened without him nurturing and cultivating my interest in cw and electronics. None of this would have happened without his patience, encouragement and support. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Bubkas.
And I am very lucky to have an Elmer who is alive and kicking, my dear friend, Don, ve3rm. He lives just across the border in Ontario on a lovely spread out in the country with no pesky neighbours nearby. He has some nice antennas out back and a classic oldie but goodie, an Alpha 87A. Don taught me electronics at what was Westhill High School in the evenings as part of the Montreal Amateur Radio Club's ham radio classes. Together with Ron, ve2kw (RIP) who taught me cw, I was able to get my first ticket then my advanced soon after.
Don remains a dear friend and a joy to visit--I try to visit as much as I can. He has a lovely Calico cat that jumps up on the desk near the computer when he wants food or attention and the kitty opens doors with his paws!
I raise a glass to you, Bill, W2GJR/VE2 (RIP) for inspiring me to study and get my ticket, Don, ve3rm who taught me electronics and made learning fun!. I lucked out with Ron, ve2kw now (SK) who taught me cw and really prepared me well for the Industry Canada exams. He used lots of exercises to help me learn cw faster and faster. One exercise was to say out loud the word or number in cw every time I saw a street sign. It worked. I aced both cw exams and the electronic theory exams too!
God bless all the Elmers out there! You may not realize how much of a difference you make in people's lives.
73, dx, god bless
I do qsl dierct and thru the buro for ve2xb/w1, V31xb, ve2xb/VY0, VY0BRR, J79XB, VP2MXB, and recently active as FP/ve2xb. Just send a self addressed envelope with CDN stamps or 2 IRCs or 2 greenbacks. I am NOT qsl mgr for any other calls!!! Planning a trip to 8Q7 and 7Q7 soon. Thanks a lot/Merci bien/Taima/Gracias.
Last modified: 2013-06-09 17:04:15, 4063 bytes cached
This user has no active logs