One of the local DXers and contesters that I’ve known for a very long time dropped by last evening while the Old Timer and I were enjoying a New Year’s Eve brew. After we exchanged the usual pleasantries, he asked what I’ve been up to since last March when we last passed through DFW. Was I still out operating from parks? Oh yeah, Donna and I have had a few Great Adventures since then, and we’ve had a fabulous year. Very enjoyable seeing the country, and staying in state parks is the thing to do when traveling. And then there’s the radio side of it. I’ve had a ball operating. Don’t you miss your tall tower and long yagis? I do, but as Garrison Keiller used to say, Life is What You Make of It. I’ve made a ton of QSOs this year, and have become friends with many of the other operators. And just like a kid, I’m excited to work any European. That’s been a fun challenge. And its been fun being around young hams again. Quite a year! Sounds like it. Are you going to continue next year? I thought a minute, not wanting to reveal any plans prematurely. Finally I responded, 2017 was such a great year hunting and activating parks, I see no reason to quit now. It’s a great group of guys out there. And they treated me well chasing me around on bands and modes. Even one of the hard core CW guys would occasionally come work me on SSB! Great guys out there. The Old Timer finally spoke up, you know one of the greatest parts of ham radio is its ability to build friendships, and there is nothing better in this world that a friend. The local DXer and I both smiled for it was ham radio that brought us together all those many years ago. With that the Old Timer finished his brew and sauntered away.
To all the Park Hunters and Activators, thank you for a great 2017, and here’s to many new Friendships in 2018! Happy New Year.
Written by Norman Myers, N9MM. Used with permission.