Wednesday, April 18, 2007

QSL

One of my earliest memories of my dad was sitting in his lap while he communicated to others via shortwave, also known as ham radio. He had a wall full of gear, among it was a SWAN transceiver over which he could talk around the world. It was his generation’s form of the World Wide Web. Old school hams would use morse code, of which he was one, and able to utilize this skill in the Army. He could very accurately transmit and receive the short and long tones, which to my young ears were called dits and dahs. I would mimic the sounds coming over the airwaves out in the garage for hours, according to my mom. DaDaDaDitDitDaDitDitDa. Over and over again, imitating my dad’s tapping on the key. Every once in a while he would get a postcard in the mail from a fellow ham radio enthusiast with whom he had made contact. The card was known as a QSL, which in the lingo of their world, it was an indication of receipt of transmission. When you made contact with someone, you could request a QSL, and guys like my dad would collect these postcards that had their call letters. (Dad’s was WA5JSE. The JSE stood for “Jesus saves everyone”) The cards might come from anywhere in the country, sometimes from around the world. Seems like I remember among them were Alaska and South American. I thought that was way cool. My kids don’t think this story is such a big deal and understandably so. It’s nothing to them to contact someone in Alaska or South America. Their world is smaller. They don’t get postal mail anymore. They are not as fascinated as I am in our ability to communicate around the world in an instant. I, on the other hand, am always amazed to think that when I publish this or any blog post, it becomes instantly accessible to anyone with a computer hooked into the Internet from anywhere around the globe. Such is the generation gap. So if you would humor me a bit, allow me to go back to my childhood and relive the fond days of my dad and bringing in from the mailbox those QSL cards, If you read this blog, could you simply leave a comment stating your city and state, and country if outside the US? I would greatly appreciate it. Over and Out.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lincoln, NE

glenn said...

Hey Kevin...

Glenn Hager here form the northern suburbs of Chicago.

I enjoy your blog. Keep writing!

cobus said...

Cobus van Wyngaard
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
grew up in Nhlangano, southern part of Swaziland, and Piet Retief, Mpumalanga, South Africa

GuyMuse said...

Guy Muse
Missionary
Guayaquil, Ecuador

My missionary dad and all his colleagues used to ham radio all the years I was growing up. It was THE missionary way to communicate back then. Everyday they would get on the "halo net" at noon and check in with the other missionaries, do phone patches to the States, and stay in contact.

Even with today's superior internet and instant email, I don't feel nearly as close to my fellow M's as my parents did back with their ham radio.

OneoftheWomacks said...

Kevin,

Hi from San Francisco. It’s hard to believe I left Lincoln over ten years ago. I've been reading your blog since last fall, and have been meaning to get in touch. I’ve appreciated hearing about this part of your journey.

Wayne Womack

Anonymous said...

Tucson, AZ

Strider said...

I can't tell you where Middle Earth is but I am eleven time zones away.
Keep up the good writing.

Matthew said...

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

SdC is said to hold the bones of St. James and one of three ancient pilgrimage destinations in the Roman Catholic church (Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago). I too am awed by the technology and even more so with the speed that it has progressed in the past 6 years.

Cheers,
Matt

knnuki said...

Ireland, dude. Come see me!

Randy said...

college station, tejas

Rich said...

Rich
Wilmington area, NC
It's been fun keeping up with your journey and Bread and Cup from afar.

stack said...

Lincoln, Nebraska.

Watchman said...

Thanks everyone for your QSL. What a small world now that we have the Internet. If any of you, especially my international friends, come to Lincoln, lunch is on me at bread&cup. We plan to be open in June.

joy hennin said...

Manhattan, KS

check out www.clustermap.com. You can track how many people are looking at your blog from around the world.p

AJ said...

Read you faithfully in Dallas, TX shinndog.

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