Well, I must say, this is not how I had envisioned my first presidency of the Panhandle Amateur Radio Club to go. Hopefully, things will be getting back to “normal” in the near future and we can all look back and say we survived the great (Chinese made) pandemic of 2019-2020. Anyway, I hope everyone is healthy and safe. Unfortunately, my wife and I work in a major hotspot, Tyson, but, our jobs allow us to stay away from most people and have managed to avoid getting sick. I stay in my office unless something happens that requires my attention and she is pretty isolated from the rest of the plant. I wanted to take a few minutes to update everyone on how things have been going with us. It will be long, but in the end, it will be radio related.
With all the changes that have been going on, social distancing, quarantining, lock downs, job closures, etc.. Sarah and I have been very blessed and all the glory goes to God. Over the last year or so, I’ve been feeling a strong calling or pull (for lack of better terms) in my heart. I didn’t know what it was until in early March, Sarah asked me to go to church with her. I had not been in a church service since I was probably 18 years old but had no hesitation in saying yes. After the second Sunday (March 8th) of attending church, we had a pastoral visit and we devoted our lives to the Lord. That was the pull I had been feeling and the fullness I felt at that point was just beyond words. The very next day, Sarah finds out that she is pre-approved for a home loan. We had tried to buy a house a few years ago, but everything fell through and kind of gave up. We had been looking, but had no real hopes of buying a house. Well, after searching online and looking at various houses, we decided on one in Panhandle. It didn’t have everything we wanted, but was nice. So the day we decided we would make an offer on it, I did a quick Zillow search and found one close by that looked closer to what we wanted. That day, we contacted a realtor and went out to look at it. This house was smaller than the one we currently had, but was very nice and had everything we were looking for. Outside of town, little bit of land, well water, close to work, and in Potter county. Even had a barn/shop out back and a small room that had been added on to the house. While I was showing the barn to Sarah’s friend who had come over to see it with us, I noticed an old Heathkit radio sitting up on a shelf. I showed Andrea and she said maybe that was a sign. I laughed and said maybe. Well, if that wasn’t a sign, I was about to get a bigger one. While walking through the house, I had walked through the add on room about 3 times before something finally clicked in my head what that room was. Coax hook ups going through wall, the sound proof sliding glass door separating it from the rest of the house, the antenna base pole right outside… This room had been a Ham Shack. The Lord had put this house in our path, and it was meant for us to have. After two months of dealing with underwriters and FHA and everything else, on Thursday, May 7th we officially signed on the house. After doing some research, I learned that the previous owner was indeed a Ham. His name was Velda Romans, KA5ZGK. He had went silent key in 2012. If anyone knew him, I would like to know more about him, so please let me know.
Well, that is my story over this pandemic. I still don’t have my radios up. I have them set up in my radio room, but have not moved my antennas yet. Hopefully by June I’ll have at least my 2 meter rig up and can get back on the air. Right now, I am hoping we will be able to have an in person meeting in June, I haven’t heard anything to the contrary.
Until then, 73
Michael – KG5SNX
First, let me apologize that I had not added anything to this for the month of January. My job, Sr Refrigeration Supervisor at Tyson, keeps me very busy. I actually have not had a day off since the 5th and I’ve been working anywhere from 11 to 18 hours a day. Unfortunately, February isn’t looking much better at this point.
I would like to thank everyone for their support in electing me president. I hope I am able to help move this club in a positive direction. To me, this club should be about advancing the hobby by getting more people interested in it, and helping our community.
When I came to my first meeting, I really didn’t know what to expect. I came in, sat down and that was pretty much it. I do not remember anyone coming up and talking to me. I didn’t know anyone there at that time. After the meeting, I tested and got my technician’s license and that was it until the following month when I came back. Same scenario, I came in, sat down and that was it. After the meeting, I tested for my general and went home. Between then and the next meeting, I had done some research and reached out to Carl Jeans about ARES. So then when the 3rd meeting came around, I at least had someone to talk to about what I was interested in. I did eventually see a familiar face, Eddie Wood, N5SUJ. I knew Eddie from years back when my dad worked for him.
Anyway, the whole reason I brought that up is because I wanted to point out that we have to do a better job when someone new comes in, to make them feel welcome. I could have very easily gotten my first license and never come back to the club. I didn’t need my general or my extra (which I’m still working on) to talk on two meter which is all I really need for emergency communications. Every month, I see people come in for testing, but then we don’t see them again. I think this happens more than we realize and that is no way to grow as a club.
That all being said, if anyone has any ideas on how to get new people involved, feel free let me know. You can text me, (806-881-6534) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). No idea is without merit.
Until next time, 73