Thanks for taking time to check out my page. I have been a ham since 1958 and continuously licensed as K4VTY until I took the plunge and got my vanity call, N5MM, in 2015.
In October 1957 the Russians launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth. I was a 13 year-old Freshman in high school and like everyone else was amazed by the news. I heard that shortwave receivers could pick up the beeps it was transmitting so I began listening on the family console radio that had a shortwave band. I'm sure I never heard Sputnik's beeps but I did hear a lot of hams talking on 75, 40 and 20 meters. That's all it took to get me hooked. Within days I joined a code class taught by the local ham radio club and took my Novice exam two months later.
This is a picture of me at my first station in the basement of our Kentucky farm house. Some of you may recognize the Halicrafters S-40B and the Globe Chief 90A. Those had to be the most exciting contacts I ever made. I knew right away I wanted to be an engineer and work in the space program.
Of course I didn't do this all on my own. Below is a picture of my #1 mentor, Shirley Wilkerson, W4TBU (SK).
I got my General License a few months later and when I started operating on phone, my father took an interest in the hobby. I taught him the code and theory and he was licensed from 1959 until his death in 1988.
This is my dad, Bob, K4MAN and I at Field Day in 1960.
After high school I able to get a job as engineer at WEHT-TV. By the time I was 22 I was married and we had to moved into our first house in Lexington, KY. For the next several years I worked full time for the US Army and attended the University of Kentucky. When I received my degree in Electrical Engineering I immediately transferred to NASA's Kennedy Space Center and in 1968 we moved to Cape Canaveral, Florida.
I loved my years with NASA and was involved with every manned mission from the beginning of Apollo until the later part of the Shuttle program. I retired in 1999 after 34 years of government service.
Since then I've been lucky enough to travel extensively thru much of the US and many foreign countries. Although my tennis raquet, motorcycle and classic Porsche have gone to the wayside, I still get to enjoy my other hobbies of boating and tinkering in the garage and yard.
Here we are in our trawler "Goin' Coastal" on a mooring in Hope Town Harbor, Bahamas.
I still get to play around with some antennas and even climb the tower when Pam isn't home to stop me.
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