A Tribute to my Elmers
by Kevin Muenzler, WB5RUE

Fredric Oheim W5LF (sk)

Mr. Oheim wasn't so much a real influence in ham radio as one who steered me in the right direction. He was a mentor on how things were done. He introduced me to classical music, astronomy (Billions...) and electronics in general. I guess he was a root influence for me getting interested in radio at all.
Thank you Mr. Oheim!

Bert Southall WA6KAY (sk)

Uncle Bert helped me really get interested in ham radio when I was about 13 years old during a visit to his place in California. He let me listen to his rigs, pretend to send "Code" and even talk on the air once. I had already been into CB for a while so I was pretty comfortable on the air already. I guess he was the one really turned me in the direction of ham radio.
Thank you Uncle Bert!

E. Ray Taylor N5NAV ex. WB5RBN

Mr. Taylor had many influences on my life and probably the most important. It was through him and his son Barry that I became a Christian. It was at a Bob Harrington crusade in San Antonio that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I've known (and competed) with his son Barry since I was about 11 years old. It was the typical "if you can do it I can do it better" competitions that best friends go through. Well we both went through them. Barry had the advantage of learning the code easier than I did. The fact that his father, Mr. Taylor, was studying right along with him helped too. He took his Novice test about a week before I did and was licensed WN5RJT. But HE never did upgrade. He kind of lost interest in ham radio when he discovered computers. The Physics department at my high school had an Altair 8800 computer with an 8080 CPU running at 1.5MHz and a whopping 12K of dynamic memory. The memory consisted of 96 256 byte by 4 byte memory chips on three 8" by 6" boards.
Mr. Taylor spent many hours at his work bench with his test equipment and mostly his parts helping me repair various rigs. He gave me my first rig which was a Globe transmitter/receiver pair. They had been hit by lightning and were not working. He, with most of his parts, helped me get them working. Mr. Taylor was in a terrible automobile accident in the late 1980s and is disabled. He spends much of his time on the air handling traffic. He is also the ARRL Section Manager for the West Gulf Division, South Texas section. I still contact him pretty regularly.
Thank you Mr. Taylor!

Dr. Keith "Larry" Mitchell WA5VTT

Now here's the man who really got me going in ham radio. It's his "fault", so to speak, that I have spent so much money through the years. (hi!) I first met him at a Radio Shack store during the Summer of 1975 while I was in buying batteries or something. I remember the owner of the store (back then there were stores that sold Radio Shack stuff that weren't company owned) introduced me to Mr. Mitchell as a scout master of the local high school radio club. Mr. Mitchell went on to tell me of a recent trip to Enchanted Rock in central Texas where they had lugged a generator and several rigs up the side of this 500' tall granite boulder. I had almost forgotten about meeting Mr. Mitchell until I was sitting in my fifth period Physical Science class on the first day of my freshman year in high school. Mr. Mitchell was going through all the names in the class to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. I thought I recognized him from somewhere but I couldn't remember. When he got to me he told me that he would be glad to get with me after class and give me all the information about ham radio that I would ever need. HE REMEMBERED! I was quite impressed. He spent most every day after school for an hour or so helping those of us who wanted to become hams. I took my Novice test right before the Christmas break 1975. Mr. Mitchell wasn't supposed to look at the test, it was supposed to be secret, but he had this "feeling" that I had passed. Well I did pass and on February 12, 1976 -- after what seemed like months of waiting (it was months) I became WN5RUE. Mr. Mitchell was just as proud as I was at my (our) accomplishment. While doing all this, teaching, Elmering and the like, he continue to work on his Master's degree. He was a very busy man but never hesitated to take time out to help a student. I remember a time when he actually visited me at my house to help me with a Heathkit HW-16 that I was building. I moved during my Junior year but we kept in touch for a while. He finished his doctorate and went to work for the Texas Department of Education. From there he went to work at Apple Computer Corp. as one of their Educational Development Executives. I came across a picture of him and his then toddler daughter, who is now a school teacher, taken during one of our Enchanted Rock trips (below left). It was taken in 1978. I was able to track down Dr. Mitchell and send it to him. Even now he was able to take time out from his extremely busy schedule to chat (email) with a former student of 35+ years ago.
Thank You Dr. Mitchell!

Mr. Mitchell, April 1978 at Enchanted Rock with daughter in arms.
Dr. Mitchell, Educational Development Executive
Apple Computer Corp.

And a special thanks to others who helped me along

Randy Crenwelge -- WB5LPN
David Sarkozi -- WB5N (ex KA5DXZ)
Darren Schwarzlose -- WD5GQT

New Braunfels HS Upper Classmen (Sir!) for "pushing me" along

Everett Brown
Jon Marshall
Bill Fetech

© 1996-2012 Kevin Muenzler All rights reserved.

Picture of Dr. Keith Mitchell (right) © Apple Corporation.
last updated July 5, 2012