…is still a ham, a ham radio operator, that is.
Someone I didn’t even know did a “reply all” email in response to one I’d received from an old friend of mine. Because of that, I received the response, too. Now, his response was very serious and had to do with the Egyptian govt conflict that has been going on for 17 days. But that wasn’t what caught me. No, it was the signature. The first part showed that he was a professor of English, but the second part showed that he was also a ham radio operator and gave his airwave call letters. That’s what got my mind running down the garden path, and to explain this, I’ll just paste my response and there won’t be any question as to why “a ham by any other name is still a ham”.
Howard, I was one of the recipients of your “reply all” email . I am writing only to thank you for the nudge into a great, great memory. When I saw the call letters ky6la, my old self went roaring back to my childhood spent in my dad's "radio room". If he were living today, he would be 100 yrs old. Like you, he built his ham radios and actually anything else that was or could be, wired in any way. We said goodbye to many pine trees in the yard after they were struck by lightening due to all the conglomerations of wires from tree to tree. It wasn't too funny back then, but today I am getting a really good belly laugh with the memories. He was W4CRG, and the best part was listening to him say, "This is W4CRG, W4- Charlie, Roger, "Joe-ige". Ha. He was a good 'ol Richmond, Va., boy, born and raised. Where the "Joe-ige" came from is anybody's guess.
I'd sit in that room for hours and every once in a while be allowed to speak into the microphone. I tried very, very hard to learn Morse code but got nowhere. I could "say" my name with dits and dahs (still can), but could never tap it out. Ah well. But, I digressed for a second there -- back to the Joe-ige. The best response I ever heard came about like this:
Dad : "This is W4CRG, W4- Charlie, Roger, Joe-ige"
Someone-somewhere's response: "What??"
Dad: “This is W4CRG, W4- Charlie, Roger, Joe-ige”
The someone's response: "What's Joe-ige?"
Never being one to mince words, Dad yelled into the mic: "What the hell’s the matter with you? JOE-IGE! g-e-o-r-g-e, JOE-IGE!"
Well, I was old enough to get it and I swear my mother was still laughing a week later.
So Howard, without you even knowing it, you made my day :D