I got on 40 Meters tonight, with the full expectations of participating in the SKCC monthly sprint, which I have not done in a long, long time. Around came 0000 UTC, the appointed time, and 40 Meters seemed strangely quiet in and around the SKCC frequencies. That's when I had a Homer Simpson "Doh!" moment. The sprint was LAST night! What a dolt I can be!
So as not to be a total loss, I started calling CQ and was answered by Jim WA2RDR out of Jackson, Michigan. And fortunately for me, it turned out to be one of the nicest QSOs that I have had in a while.
Jim, it turns out, is quite the tinkerer and homebrewer. He got his ticket in 1947 when he was still in high school. During our conversation, he was using a 1963 vintage Clegg radio that was originally manufactured for 6 Meter AM. Jim modified it to work on 40 Meter CW. He was running 25 Watts to a 100 foot center fed doublet that he has up about 25 feet. His signal was strong, crisp and clear. His fist was steady and true.
We talked about his projects, we talked about mine. We talked about our mutual love for CW and 40 Meters. In all, it was a wonderful conversation that lasted an eyelash under an hour.
If I had not gotten the night wrong; and had participated in the sprint, I would have missed out on a very pleasant QSO with a fellow Ham. Even though we're a "few" years apart in age, we both love the same things about Amateur Radio. I look forward to hooking up with Jim on the air in the not too distant future.
Nights like these are what the magic is all about.
73 de Larry W2LJ