I had a nice QSO this evening with Bob W5RG from down Florida way. I called 7 CQ's and was just about to shut it down and he called me back. As usual I was on the K2 at 10w to the mojo powered attic dipole I installed in 1998. Bob was using his K3 and a long wire antenna at 100w and was fighting some pretty bad QRM on his end. Surprisingly the QSB tonight was very light. I sent him a 589 and got a 579 back.
Bob lives in Panama City Beach, and he said it's been very hot down there and he is ready for winter. I explained here in Indiana, it is not uncommon for us to experience all four seasons over the course of a few days...and we were not hoping for winter yet.
I check Bob out on QRZ and found that he's been licensed about 60 years, he was 13 years old when he got his ticket and that was motivated by a couple of older guys in his Boy Scout troop having two way radios. He also had an uncle that ran CW from a big old Viking back in the 1950's. Bob is a CW operator, and originally from Oklahoma, says he moved to Florida for love but didn't get to bring his towers.
Seeing his mention of the Boy Scouts made stop and wonder just how many hams out there got their interest in radio stirred up by being a scout.
I have been a scout leader since August of 1986 when my then first grader brought home a flyer showing they were starting up a new Cub Scout pack. I have been a Cub Master, Den Leader, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Merit Badge Counselor, Committee Chair, and last but not least a Chartered Organization Representative.
I was a scout as a youth but was only involved in scouting for about three years, made the rank of 1st Class, and the smells of gasoline and perfume won me over. I have two sons that are both Eagle Scouts (one a ham), and I have one grandson (also a ham) about to make Eagle and another just getting started out in the Cubs with his dad acting as an assistant Den Leader. I guess you can say we are a scouting family.
If you get a chance to assist a scout group with JOTA this year, do it. It can be very frustrating at times and very rewarding all at the same time. If you have some free time, get with your local BSA Council and sign up to be a Radio Merit Badge Counselor.
See ya on the trail!