I am 38 years old, I live in Ingram, Texas which is about 70 miles north west of San Antonio. This is a beautiful area of Texas. My home is nestled right in the middle of the Hill Country.
I first got interested in radio when I was about ten years old when I recieved a CB base station for my birthday. I lived in the country and grew up on a 2000 acre ranch. Some of my friends also had CBs and we would stay up to all hours of the night talking about everything on the radio. I can still hear my Mom yelling at me "Turn that thing off and go to bed, you have school tomorrow."I guess what intrigued me most about radio was the mystery. Spending all those late night hours talking, I always new that some unknown people were listening to me, somewhere in the night. The CB stayed with me until I turned 16 when I got my drivers license. Now an even bigger adventure was awaiting me. I had the freedom to drive. Needless to say, the next few years got pretty wild.
I did not pick up another mic for some 12 years. This time it was not a CB.
A friend of whome I had stayed up late with on all those school nights as a kid talking to on the CB. John, now N5SBE whose dad was a ham had encouraged him to study and get his license, started telling me about it. He said that if I got my license we could talk to each other for free. He was living about 120 miles away from me at the time and the thought struck a chord. Remembering those days as a kid and how much fun I had on the CB, I wasted no time in picking up the phone and calling his dad and asking him for help to become a ham. He told me who to get in touch with for an exam and where to get some study materials. I spent a lot of time hanging around his shack and listening to him explain radio and electronic theory. A special thanks should now go out to my Dad, Mac who bought me my first CB radio and antenna system when I was a kid, My mom for keeping me inline and understanding me. And to Herman W5FES for being my Elmer.
Thanks guys for giving me the guidance and playing an intricate role in the beginnning of a hobby that I am sure will stay with me for the rest of my life.
It is over ten years later now and I have probably spent enough money on Ham gear to build a nice house. My station is certainly no CB anymore. My walls are now splatterd with QSL cards from all over the world. So the next time you are tuning around on the HF bands, keep an ear out for my callsign.
I'll be out there, somewhere in the night.