AL4B.Net by Larry Andersen


My Favorite Things Ham Radio

My lifes events have taken me many places. I have always endeavored to learn much as I could about my surroundings. Early on, as a youngster in California, I found amateur radio. The licensed lapsed during my term of military duty where I learned all about tropical jungles, monsoon rains and a myriad of poisonous things.

After my military service a long period elapsed before I again had a ham license. Between there was college and jobs in California. Another long harbored desire, flying, called and I earned my Airmans Certificate with Single Engine Land, High Performance and Complex Aircraft endorsements I even got married and raised a family. Middle age wanderlust led me to seek out a long fervent desire to live in the Last Frontier, Alaska.

I did the whole Alaska experience. I worked on of the Bristol Bay fish camps. There are many stories to tell about that. I worked a whole new career at the Anchorage International Airport. That way I could be close to the airplanes. At the time there was a saying; Alaska! Where the men are men and the women win the Iditarod. I got me a new wife, a lady with a kennel full of sled dogs; spent many a year as a recreational musher in the forests of Alaska.

And yet, something was missing. So, I studied up on all the changes that ham radio had undergone and took the test. I had come full circle and it felt complete. Since then there has been time spent in Florida. I got t know the beaches, the rivers and the Everglades. Then there was a move to Tennessee. I am still learning about this historic State and enjoying the process.

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Some of my QSL cards:
  1. I spent time in Florida helping the in-laws. There are lots of sandy barrier islands, inlets with pine and palm groves. It was a warm and tropical clime, much different than what I was used to in Alaska. It was fun for a while being a beachcomber. You just have to remember the sunblock.
  2. The St Petersburg Amateur Radio Club net was seven days a week. To boost attendance and engender participation we added little things to spice it up. On this occasion I ran the net portable from one of the Gulf Coast barrier islands, Mullet Key, which is also home to the famous Fort De Soto . The bonus was everyone who checked in received their QSL card.

  3. There are three ways to get to and from Alaska; drive the Alaska Highway, fly or, as I did in 2010, take a ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System. So much of Alaska, especially in the Southeast panhandle, is not accessible by roads; the only means is by flying or by boat. The State operated ferry system provides the vital link to the remote communities. I presented a copy of my license and a spec sheet for my radio to the ships master. The captain gave me permission to operate in port and while underway. The MV Columbia is a very comfortable ship, lots of good food.
  4. Born and a career in California, another career in Alaska, several years in Florida and then retirement in Friendsville Tennessee. Friendsville is so named for the Quaker farmers and settlers in the area during the Nineteenth Century. The whole State is abounding in history. The area was once part of the Cherokee Nation there are reminders of the Trail of Tears. Daniel Boon and Davy Crockett were stalwart fellows once well known in these parts. I am located close to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park also teems with history. The cabin pictured, located in Cades Cove, is the George Washington Carter Shields cabin. It was built about 1830. Shields, a Civil War veteran who suffered from crippling wounds received at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, lived in the cabin from 1910 to 1921.I added a light in the attic window and placed a small yagi on the peak of the roof. I hope Mr. Shields doesnt mind.

  5. MV Kennicott April 2019 - Whittier Alaska to Bellingham Washington. In the planning stages. Scheduled departure 4/15/19.
  6. I would think that anyone familiar with 1950s ham radio would recognize the ubiquitous World Radio Labs QSL card with my novice call sign KN6VWO. I put some away back then, to keep them safe, to be a memento from the past. Boy! Are they ever safe. I dont believe I have seen one of these cards in over 50 years. The image is just something I cobbled together and it does closely resemble the old QSL card. The call, without the N novice indicator, is now owned by a gentleman in California. His QRZ profile looks interesting and one day I hope to meet him. In the meantime I hope he enjoys the call as much as I did.

Latest revision done April 2021
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