I used to be K9TPS in Moline, Illinois, but that was a long time ago. Times were different then. The 'old' guys were normally no more than four years or so older then I. As barely a teenager, I had much help getting my General. Aside from my parents, K9ASF and W9DGV (W9RI) helped a ton - I consider them my elmers. Of couse there were others too. Those 'old' guys never knew how much they helped me. W9YCR used to be our club station. As I recall, there were two keys that a person could get. One of them was for the general club house, but the other was only given to members that were licensed and checked out on the equipment.
Six meters used to be our equivalent of the now 2 meters. I used to have a Heathkit Sixer, but always wanted a Gonset Communicator III (white). All of our AM activity was on 50.4 Mc. - now MHz. I was stuck on 50.45, but others tuned around for me. CW after school on 40 & 20. Keyers? Nope, bugs were in use. Yes, you could identify a person by their fist on a bug. Most days I was able to find K2UKQ on 14.065. Hamfests? Ah, the hamfests. They were family fun. Ours happened to be at a picnic ground outside of town. Pepsi etc. could be had by dipping your hand into cold ice water and making your choice. AM was the mode for the phone guys. It was amazing just how many Heathkit Teners were plugged into cigarette lighters. Prizes? You bet! How about brand new HF receivers and transceivers - nice!
I spent 12 wonderful years in Colorado and got my W0 call there. I sure do miss the mountains! The RMVHFS provided many good times. I used to live near a wide spot in the road called Wondervu. I was at 9000', on a ridge, with a major dropoff towards Indonesia. What a location!
As an Extra Class, my ham interests now have mostly drifted back to casual rag chewing on CW, mobile when I can, with a CW contest thrown in now and then & a little DXing. . A few times a year I manage to get out and do some backpacking with my QRP rig. It seems that QRP and backpacking were made for each other. I still favor the 40 & 15 meter CW bands especially QRP. I might be changing to 30 meters. I wish that my CW was as good as my desire for it. I love that mode - it's still magic!
Other [links] that I use.
72/73 de W0OOW -- ARS#1690, NAQCC#244, FP#735, FISTS#7808, MEGS#747, SOC#405, SKCC#2071
CW - It's still magic!