HAPPY BIRTHDAY BCRA - We're 80 Years Old!!
Please check out this neat collection of old stories and news clippings.
Brings back some memories! We used to meet in the fire station in
Somerset. Our club repeater was K1ZZN (silent key). I do not recall
where the repeater was located but it wasn't in Fall River.
The somewhat inactive (at that time) Fall River club was being discussed
in a merger. The reasoning for merging is that members did not want to
be "just a repeater" club. Many were into HF. I sat as club Secretary
recording the minutes during a special meeting at BCC that night where
at least 30 plus members showed up (we average 6 to 10 members during
any given meeting). Many were opposed, as many were for it. A lively
discussion followed by vote.
The rest as they say is history. AA1Q Jerry (silent key), was club
President at that time. N1HDU Paul Chatterton (silent key) was club
Ron - WB1HGA
Back in the 70's I think the Fall River repeater was in the high
rise on the corner of Robeson and Stanley Street. I remember Bill
Bibeau (K1FPV) use to do most of the work on it. Not sure when it
moved from there. I also remember the old Fall River Club meeting in
downtown Fall River I believe on 2nd Street up on the third floor.
That was back in the early 60's.
Cal - KA1CH
From what I have been told, as this was all before my time, the
repeater used to be on Cardinal Medeiros which is the building you
described. Oh what I wouldn't give to have that spot back today!
And a few old timers have told of the days when the club had space in
the old Lizzie's building, and the HF antenna rotor was an "arm strong"
rotor with ropes and pulleys. Yup, those were the good old days. :-)
How about a few stories of doing Field Day on the Battleship?
Roland - N1JOY
Yeh I was on the Battleship with the club sometime back around 1963-
1964, and I think somewhere I have an old photograph that was in the
Herald News of some of us. I'll try to dig it up. If I remember
correctly it shows Frank Benevides (W1BOJ) (Silent Key), Glenn Fadden
(not sure of his call) myself (WA1BYA at that time) Bill Toole
(WA1EVY) and a few others. If I can find it is there a way to post it
or I can scan it and email it to you. Or better yet I'll bring a copy
to the meeting.
Cal - KA1CH
I got one home movie of the gang doing field day in Assonet. Forget
where and several videos (years) of Battleship Cove Field Day. Subjects
(hams) I recall in both are: a young Keith (now lives in Taunton), Paul,
N1HDU, Jerry AA1Q, Ann K1DNB (she was club Treasurer for awhile now
lives in NH) Muzzle WA1MZL ... John WA1LPM, and others that are drawing
a blank now cause it was so long ago. After Bill (now retired and living
parts north of us), Arnie Malloy maintained the repeater. It was even
temporary located at the Red Cross building in highlands where we held
Ron - WB1HGA
Yup ... I am the young Keith who was KA1AQB ( 15/16 years old),
now the old
Keith AA1JF ( 44 years old) :- ). I remember Ron WB1HGA swinging by and picking
me up with his Volkswagen bus and heading over to Riverside Ave in Somerset for
the club meetings, I also remember working a ham in Somerset on CW who was Boh
If I recall some of the other call signs that come to mind are WA1DPB who worked
with my dad up at J&J Corrugated in Franklin, MA and also Fred Chew can't
remember his call sign that lives on Meridian Street in Fall River.
I also remember Ann (KA1DNB) now WA1S driving me up to the FCC Office in Boston
because I did not have a drivers license to take my General Class Test.
It's amazing how I can remember everything like it was yesterday so many years
later, which shows you how much of an influence everyone has on the younger kids
these days with trying to get them into the hobby, these memories last forever.
Keith - AA1JF
This is KA1CH (former WA1BYA) (Cal Ellinwood) I just sent a photo of
us taken about 1964-65 aboard the Battleship Mass. to Roland. You are
seated at one of the radios along with Dan Alexander and I am
standing behind you with a number of other members from the old Fall
River Club. I think Roland is going to post the image online. That
was a long time ago. I was also in Chuck Boitano's class during the
Fall/Winter og 1963. It was held in the old Bradford Durfee Tech
building on Durfee St. Across from the Bank St. Armory. Mr. Les Corey
taught the electronic theory.
Cal - KA1CH
Click Here to Read the FRARC News Article
Charlie Boitano was the
man on crutches who worked for Sam and Joe Haddad at
J and S Electronics on Pine Street in the 1950s and 60s. Joe and Sam had 2
stores; one in Fall River and one in Newport. When they parted company, Joe
retained the J and S name in Newport and Sam changed the name of his store
in Fall River to Haddad Electronics. Chuck was the counter man. His call was
W1NNN. He always had a smile and always had time to help an aspiring radio/
TV service man (me) who sometimes had trouble diagnosing a problem.
In the early and mid 1950s Charlie was engaged by the Swansea Civil Defense
to run ham radio classes which were held one night a week at Case High School. People
he licensed included Gladys and Harry Wilde (K1JOA and K1JOD), Jimmy Fowler
K1JOF, me (K1MQE), Nancy Hare, Fred Hartford and several dozen others.
In 1959 he and I ran a big class in the lecture hall at Durfee College. We
charged $1 per person per class and there were more than 50 in the class. Making
$25 each in one evening in 1959 was not too bad. One of the people in that class
was Sandy Marchant. I would love to know where she is now. Last I heard she moved to
Florida but I don't know where.
I ran the class the following year and licensed about 60 novices and
technicians. For the next couple of years I ran classes at the Boyd Center on Rodman Street.
About 1967 and 68 I ran a couple of classes at SMTI in New Bedford. In 1970
and 71 I ran more classes, this time at what is now UMass
Dartmouth. Altogether I licensed more than 300 hams. Charlie Boitano probably licensed that many as
Charlie had a piece of land on Second Street in Fall River a half a block above
Rodman Street near what used to be Drape's Fish Market. Because he didn't
have exclusive title to the property, he couldn't get a construction
mortgage but he put aside small amounts from his paycheck each week and bought cement
blocks a few at a time. It took years, but eventually the building was
completed and he moved his ham radio classes from his kitchen to his new building. If
you drive down Second Street, you can still see the name "BOITANO BUILDING"
carved in the granite block over the doorway.
As did many others, I went to Charlie's home on Bourne Rd. in Swansea for
code practice while I was preparing for my general class license. He would sit
reading the newspaper while batting out perfect code on a straight key at 15 or
20 words per minute. He could copy 25 words a minute in his head while
carrying on a conversation with someone else.
Charlie had an old army surplus code machine that used inked paper tapes. He
used to rent out that machine for $1 a week. His wife offered to give it to
me after he died but I declined it. What I did accept was an antique, 2 tube radio
set that I had given him years earlier. I gave it to him not working but he
restored it to working condition. He had a collection of probably 25 or 30 antique sets.
I think I have 3 of them that he gave me over the years.
Charlie was an outstanding individual.
Another ham who lived and breathed ham radio was Bart Albert, W1DT but
that's a whole 'nuther story.
I miss them both.
Les Cory - K1MQE