I really do miss King Edwards 5 Outrageous Amateurs
Lately I have been lamenting the fact that I am not able to talk to Ed Youngblood KE5OA. Ed was one of the first radio operators to take me under his wing when I was a freshly licensed HAM.
He was a funny old guy that liked to play games with the English language to make conversation more enjoyable, He Elmered me in the best ways to conduct myself on the air and answered my stupid questions concerning amateur radio when I needed help. He has been gone so long now and I really miss him.
In the midst of all this nostalgia I began thinking about the others. The ones that took the time to impart a little bit of Elmering from time to time to help me on the road to being a good amateur radio operator. I thank all of them for teaching me to be the radio operator I am today. I owe a huge debt to all of them. It doesn't matter if they have gone Silent Key or they’re signal has just faded. I still remember each and every one and thank them for they're patience
I think about Bernard Aderholt N5PGZ/KJ5GE who introduced me to the National Traffic System. Corolyn KC5OZT that thought enough of me to appoint me NTS Digital Net manager for DFW here in the north Texas section. She was also instrumental in helping me become a member of the Brass Pounders League. I even have the BPL medallion with my call Sign on the back to remind me of Carolyn.
I think of Loy Marshal AA5JM, Charlie Stark N5AIB ,Rob Ashmore KA5SNM, Bill Reynolds K8DNE and Craig Green KV5E who instilled in me the importance of emergency communications. This motivated me to be the best storm spotter I could manage to be. I also passed the ARECC Level 1, 2 and 3 courses from the ARRL because they inspired me. I was able to become a Net Control for Dallas County RACES, Kaufman County ARES, and various emergency and disaster communications nets because of these guys. They are honors and achievements for which I will never be able to say thank them enough for convincing me to get out in my car in a rainstorm and try to catch up with something any sane individual would run away from. I love you guys.
Who would have thought that I would have been so appreciated by my peers that I would have the honor of being appointed an Assistant Section Manager for the ARRL North Texas Section by not one but three different Section Managers over the years. Bob Adler NZ2T / N5NY, Tom Blackwell N5GAR and Roy Rabey AD5KZ if anybody is doing a fact check. I couldn't get the last one to acknowledge across the table from him at a local HAMfest.
Even the HAM Association of Mesquite Texas unanimously elected me President for two terms to guide they're club in new and exciting directions. In previous years I was a VE, part of the Education Committee, Gave Licensing classes and so much more for the club. Our club was nominated to manage the Amateur Radio Station W5TEX at the State Fair Of Texas in 1994 and it went of without a hitch. I even coordinated the HAM field day in Mesquite one year and we received one of the highest scores since the club started. I say not bad.
There are so many radio operators that influenced, Elmered me over the years that it would sound like a historical roster of current and silent key HAM’s in North Texas.
The take away from this is that every HAM you meet, it doesn't matter if you just shake hands with them at you local hamfest or you work an island on the southern tip of Africa influences the way you pursue amateur radio. Everyone is an Elmer even though you may not realize it now and they will make a huge difference in your experience with amateur radio. If you are lucky and pay attention they will make you anExceptional HAM.
Lastly I even think back to the guys that I say we grew up together in HAM Radio. Scott Stone N5EHV, Greg Thacker N5LYS and Michael Cedeck N5TZR. We were new or nearly new and we watched out for each other while we learned amateur radio together. They helped me learn that there is always more to learn in Amateur Radio.
So go out and ask stupid questions, try things they say won’t work, and be the best HAM you can be. Don’t Forget Ed Youngblood KE5OA The guy that would give you enough information for you to make up you own mind and would offer advice when it didn't work out the way you expected. He never treated me like less of a HAM just because I was licensed a couple of decades after he was. I was an equal, a brother and I needed to find my own way.
We miss you Ed and we love you