About Me - And How I became interested in Ham Radio Please
skip if not interested
I taught community health nursing for 23 years with the
UT System. I retired in 2005. I also retired from the US
Army Nurse Corps in 1997 after 25 years - both active and
reserve duty. I was a reservist with the 4005th USA
Hospital located in Houston and the 94th General Hospital
at Seagoville, TX. Texas.
It all began when I was about eight. I received this book for a birthday present.
I left active duty in 1976. I immediately transferred to the Army Reserves (4005th
USAH) as a Captain and was eventually promoted to Lt. Colonel while in the USA
Reserves. When we moved from League City, Texas, I transferred to the 94th GH in
1980. I served in many roles including OIC of the John Peter Smith Hospital OJT Site,
Assistant Chief Nurse and Training Officer with Plans, Operations and Training. The
94th GH was activated for Desert Storm. Interestingly, the 94th was also activated for
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During Desert Storm, I was assigned at the Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Landstuhl,
In addition to Ham Radio, I enjoy gardening, digital photography and being with my wife.
I also am active with the City of Arlington's Emergency Management Support Team,
Tarrant County R.A.C.E.S., C.E.R.T. and various Arlington Amateur Radio Club activities. I
serve on the board of our homeowners association (www.castleridgehoa.net) My wife
and I are active members of Westchester Church in Grand Prairie. And, at 60 years of age,
I've become an XBOX 360 fanatic. PainlessPatrick is on the prowl! And, not having
enough hobbies - I'm in to Model Railroading (see PrairieTrains page)
How I Became Interested in Ham Radio
By the way--Jack Gould was
a rather famous critic.
CLICK HERE to learn more ----
Immediately, I was fascinated. We always had a radio and only recently got our
first B&W TV. It was not long until I was connecting my electric train transformer
to my mother's metal clothesline. I thought just turning up the "juice" up a little
at a time would result in something. I guess interference on the TV or perhaps
calling up aliens (it might have!) :-). But, no such luck on either. Soon, I became a
cub scout and made my first crystal set. It was not easy finding or building the
crystal. As usual, my family found a way to get one through the mail. And that
was WAY before the Internet.
To my amazement --- it worked! I even picked up
stations over 30 miles away! I was amazed and
spent several sleepless nights listing to my
At 11, I joined the Boy Scouts and immediately
began studying for the Radio Merit Badge. I wish I
could remember his first name - but a Mr. Phillips of
Phillip's Radio Company of Denton, Texas was my
merit badge counselor and therefore my first ELMER. He was a Ham of long
standing. His shop was full of old radios and assorted military electronic junk. He
taught me just enough morse code (I wasn't interested in semaphore) to get my
badge. I never will forget as the code key was in one room and the oscillator was in
another connected by a long wire. I remained stuck on doing something with radio.
There was not much information about kids and Hams (at least in my world) - so I
didn't even know there was such a connection.
Years flew by - finished college, started my active duty commitment in the Army
Nurse Corps. After a couple of years, the Army sent me to Korea for 13 months. I
spent part of that time studying the code and various Novice Class manuals from
Heathkit. Just for the heck of it, I also ordered the General Class course from
Heathkit because it had the 13 wpm code tapes. Got off active duty and returned to
civilian life. I told my wife that I REALLY had a new hobby! I accepted a position at
the UTMB School of Nursing in Galveston, Texas. At UTMB, there existed a Amateur
Radio Club with a complete station and antenna farm atop John Sealy Hospital.The
club existed primarily for emergency communications in case of a hurricane. I
willingly helped to install and repair several antennas. It was there that I learned
about tower safety!
At a club meeting, I met my second Elmer. He was teaching
a Novice Class and code and I immediately started the
class. I became a licensed Novice in 1978. My first call was
KA5IMI. But, IMI in code is "?" - despite that, I kept the call
sign but did not do many CW contacts. People probably
wondered if I knew my own call sign! Having credit cards in
hand, I bought a Heathkit receiver and soon after a
Kenwood TS-180S (that I still use sometimes). It wasn't
until my wife and I moved to Grand Prairie that I had a real
antenna other than a long wire and dipole. I installed an
all-band vertical and got actively OTA.
I got too busy working and my radios stayed in their respective boxes unless there
was a hurricane in the Gulf. I would pull one out and just listen to the NETS.I joined
the Arlington Amateur Radio Club in 2002 and met my third Elmer - Mr. Dave Smith
KB5PMX. I enrolled in his Technician class that he graciously held in his home. I
supplemented his course with Gordon West's Tech and General Course. The
knowledge that my code requirement was met by my long expired Novice ticket
inspired me to go further. The Arlington Club (AARC - K5SLD) have VEC guys and it
was soon that I had my Tech and General tickets. I am slowly going through my
many study materials for Extra.
More warm credit cards later, I purchased an ICOM W32A HT and 746pro
transceiver. I also installed an ICOM 208A in my truck. Needless to say, I have
been busy playing with antennas and being OTA. Please see my new vertical
antenna that is disguised as a Texas flag pole in the "My Equipment" page on this
site. I particularly enjoy all facets of amateur radio particularly the digital modes.
That's the story! Thanks for plowing through it. I enjoyed recalling the good times.
I wish I had started in amateur radio earlier. But you are only as old as you feel. If
you are not sleeping yet - please take advantage of my web site. Now that I am
retired, the site has been a labor of love and just another facet of the great world
of Ham Radio. 73,
My father taught me to work,
but not to love it. I never did
like to work, and I don't deny
it. I'd rather read, tell
stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh
-- anything but work.
I'm the good looking
kid on the right -circa