Our Spotlight this week shines on Bruce Elbert, K6ZB, and Amateur Extra Class licensee from Thousand Oaks, California. Bruce was first licensed in 1959 and formerly held the call sign WA2IZV. He joined ARMS in 2006.

Bruce is married to Cathy, about whom he says, "She is the light of my life, the best possible mother to our two girls, and the one who brought me to Christ Jesus." More about her later . . .

Bruce was introduced to the hobby by Steve Biren, WA2EGK, while still in high school. This sparked a lifelong interest and career. Due to family and work, he was off the air between 1987 and 2002, but is now very active at their new home in Thousand Oaks.

The K6ZB station includes an Icom IC-756PROII which drives a 500-watt solid state amplifier. His antenna is a High Sierra screwdriver antenna mounted on an iron fence. He uses a Kenwood TS-830S for backup. For VHF/UHF he has a Yaesu FT-817 and a Kenwood TM-732. In the mobile he uses a Yaesu FT-857 and an Atlas 120.

Bruce is involved in ARES and RACES emergency communication in Ventura County. He also enjoys CW ragchewing on HF, HF SSB nets (particular the ARMS net), and chatting on local VHF/UHF repeaters. He holds DXCC and several certificates for volunteer work. He even assisted during the motorcade for President Ronald Reagan's cortege to his Presidential Library, where he now rests.

Due to the interest sparked from Ham Radio, Bruce began a career in radio communications. He graduated with an E.E. degree from CCNY in 1965, then served four years in the U.S. Army as a Signal Corps officer during the Vietnam War. His first civilian job was at the Communications Satellite Corporation, where he learned about satellites and their applications. He also worked for Hughes Aircraft for twenty-five years, which is how he ended up in Southern California. He retired in 1999 primarily to go off on his own as a consultant and teacher.

Bruce was raised Reformed Jewish and was Bar Mitsvahed at his temple in New York City. The preparations caused him to learn much of the Old Testament and take it to heart. While stationed at Ft Lewis, Washington, in 1966, he was fortunate enough to meet his future wife, Cathy Cummings, who was and is a Christian. They allowed each other to pursue their respective beliefs, but they attended church, and their two daughters were exposed to the Christian faith and not the Jewish faith. Eventually, through Cathy's gentle influence, Bruce got more interested in her faith, which is now his as well. They attended and then joined the First Baptist Church of Thousand Oaks in 2005. They were then baptized together.

Family has always been important to Bruce. He says, "I had a happy childhood in Flushing, New York, with two brothers (David and Larry) and a loving father (Michael) and mother (Catherine). Our house was filled with family, including both grandmothers and for a while my Uncle Andy. I've lost all except my younger brother, Larry, who lives in Orange County. As I mentioned, we were a Reformed Jewish family, being members of a local temple called Beth Shalom. In 1967, I was fortunate to marry Cathy and we now have two lovely girls, Sheri and Michelle. Our focus is on them as we want them to have happy lives."

Bruce cites Psalm 24 as his favorite Scipture passage. Concerning the ARMS Christian Fellowship, he says, "The ARMS Net is truly blessed and has helped me to better understand and live by Jesus and our faith."

[ POSTED ON 16-MAY-2006 ]