Jim Simpson k6ili
I shall never forget the strange lingo I was hearing: "Kilowatt Six Ida Love Ida." Jim was introducing me to Ham radio. "CQ.......CQ.....CQ.... This is Kilowatt Six, Ida Love Ida, calling CQ. " It was 1954 and I lived in SanFrancisco. I worked as a bus driver for the city and lived at 36 Tara Street in the Mission district near Daily City. One day I was at an auction sale and bought a pick-up load of old army surplus radios and electronic gear. Not knowing exactly what to do with the junk I had bought and stored in my basement, I put an add on the bulletin board at the bus barn. It wasn' t long til a man knocked on my door and ask if he could check out the army surplus radio stuff that I had advertised on the board. Jim Simpson was a bus driver for Muni, the same as I, but this was the first time I remember seeing him. I took Jim down to the basement and watched him gently fumble through the stack of ole L-5s and three or four BC-348s, and numerous types of tubes and transformers. Jim turned to me and ask what I would take for a couple or three of the pieces of equiptment he had laid to one side.
"Tell you what," I replied," I' ll take fifteen bucks for the whole caboodle."
"You don't know what you have here, my friend." He said.
"I only give five bucks for all of it and if it's worth anything to you, take what you got there for two dollars."
"I' ll give you five dollars for these three pieces and show you what you can do with some of the other stuff. " He said.
Well, that struck off our lifetime friendship and after giving me an old home brew rig he had put together..... a pair of 6L6 tubes that will put out about 50 watts of cw and a cap that I could hook them together and run about 75 to 100 watts when no one was looking. Jim took one of the old BC-348s and converted it to a.c. and I was ready for business. He gave me my novice exam and later helped me go on to a technician. I was so excited with my new call letters...(KN6HJS) and of course I dropped the N when I upgraded to tech. I shall never forget Jim Simpson, one of the kindest and most gentle persons I have known in my 67 years of living.
I called Jim just before Christmas this year (1998) to wish him happy holidays and check on him.... He is very retired and lives in San Diego. "God bless you Jim....You have done so much for me and I' m glad to be one of your many friends. 73s forever."