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I received my Novice Ticket (does anyone remember those?) in April of 1982 (age 11). My dad and I tested on the same day and received consecutive call signs. I was KA5NOM, and he was KA5NON. Remember, this was a novice ticket and that only allowed CW on 4 bands. As a sixth grader, I could do CW, but I certainly didn't like it! Therefore, I was never active with my privileges. Because of the price of radios, my dad never did much with his either. We would often dream about the fun we could have with our Extra Class tickets, but the code requirements seemed prohibitive. My license expired and I never even noticed.

Fast forward to the early 90s. I had a roommate who was exceedingly interested in HAM Radio, but never had gotten his ticket (He eventually did, becoming KD5UXK in 2003, and then N5CTM in 2005. Craig is now a Silent Key, and I miss him terribly!). My interest was rekindled and I re-activated my lapsed license (Thank God for grace periods!). I planned on upgrading my license and on one day, I passed the Tech, General and Advanced written exams. The 13WPM code killed me and I simply went up to Tech Plus. I upgraded my call sign to KC5HIC. A month later, I aced the 13WPM and went immediately to Advanced. I wasn't even about to try for 20WPM.

Years later, 2002 to be exact, I learned that the code had been dropped for the Extra class ticket. After 3 weeks of studying and 1 missed question on the test, I finally had my extra class ticket. It was a bitter-sweet victory. I took my CSCE to show to my dad and it stayed on his tombstone until the wind and rain dissolved it forever. Just over a year later, my son picked up the books and passed his Tech test on the first shot, receiving call KC0OTN. We immediately applied for what are officially vanity calls, but are in actuality old family call signs. I am once again KA5NOM... a call that once belonged to the youngest Ham in Arkansas (so I am told), and my son is now KA5NON, the call his grandfather broke in so many years ago.

6167602 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:20:50, 2044 bytes

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