Posted in Blogging, Writing, Zero to Hero

Zero to Hero: My reputation…as a ham

Do you have a reputation? What is it, and where did it come from? Is it accurate? What do you think about it?

Okay….this is my question to answer, actually from yesterday. I’ve discovered the challenge of keeping up with a daily blog while traveling – if you don’t actually schedule and plan time for it, it doesn’t happen. So here I am a day late and a dollar short as the saying goes. However, I think I gained by waiting because I found my answer.

This is actually a really interesting question to consider. To actually get to a place in your life where you have a reputation, means you have created a least a ripple or two in the waves. The question of having a reputation then becomes more of knowing of it. It actually turns out to be rather timely that I was untimely in my writing of this post, because I think I discovered the answer to this question throughout my meanderings of this weekend back in the ‘hood.

My husband’s volunteer life brings him to Connecticut twice a year to my hometown of Windsor, where the annual gathering of the leaders in the Amateur Radio community gather to decide on policy and other important topics. It’s really quite an honor to rub shoulders with these folks that used to employ me…now I’m a spouse and it’s a whole new world.

What I discovered this weekend about my reputation, I don’t actually consider a reputation per se. I’d like to consider it more of a character/personality trait. Ok, here it is… ready?

I’m nice to people.

I’m nice to people that many people might shy away from.

Yeah…that’s it. Nothing earth-shattering, or likely shocking….

I’m okay with my reputation of being nice to people, I’d like to think it’s pretty accurate.

I also am pretty sure I wasn’t always that way, but I sure try to be now.

The reason this even comes to me as being my reputation….Kay, the president of this organization, a woman that I truly admire and is held in very high regard by literally tens of thousands of people,  noticed something I did quite a few years ago.  It apparently made an impression because she recounted the “event” to some other folks at the dinner table last night. I’m not going to spell out all the details because quite frankly, unless you are a ham….much of it wouldn’t make sense. But here’s the skinny:

When I was in my former job, an elderly gentleman in a walker/scooter came to talk to me at an event. He likely didn’t have any one caring for him at home, his odor was the giveaway to that fact. He and I previously spoke on the radio and he knew I was going to be at this particular event and managed to get himself there. He was very sweet and we chatted. As Kay recounted, I squatted down and talked with him, never flinching or giving away any discomfort. And I was nice to him.

What Kay learned last night, was the rest of the story. He attended that event to give me something very special. You see, we ham radio operators have call signs issued by the FCC. My first vanity call sign was W1KRB (for my initials). It was how I was known by many around the country. This gentleman told me during our chat on the radio, that his first contact as a ham radio operator was with the first person to hold that call sign. He came to that event to give me the QSL card that confirmed that contact – it was from the 1930s.

For ham radio operators, our first contact (AKA a QSO) is very special. When we receive the card that confirms that contact, it is something we hold on to. He brought me that card and gave it to me as a gift.

Apparently that’s what being nice gets you….truly priceless gifts.

This picture is from my ham radio shack….and there is that card, framed and hanging where I can see it every day. So thank you Kay for helping to remind me of this very special occasion in my life.  The meaning behind the gift is deeper for me now. The gift of you sharing the story from your perspective is the other priceless gift.



Hello and thank you for visiting my blog! I am a mixed bag all jumbled up with glitter writing a book, playing on ham radio (I'm WY7YL), being a Parrothead, making jewelry, running, reading, or running around with my camera taking pics of nature and my cats. This blog is a smattering of all of it!

7 thoughts on “Zero to Hero: My reputation…as a ham

  1. That is an amazing story what are the odds that you would speak to someone that had a QSO with a person that held the original call sign. And then have him appear and give the card to you. Truly it was a golden QSO between you both that so moved him. Great posting..73 Pete KL1HB

    1. Thanks Pete, it definitely is amazing how ham radio makes our world smaller, as well as the connections and relationships created. 🙂

    1. Thanks for visiting mine too! And thanks for the comment, it really is true that you never know how you will touch another person. Sometimes those brief moments can change your life.

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