My cell phone rang this morning around the 10:30 AM neighborhood. I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that it was work, informing me of some kind of emergency that could only be handled by yours truly. Fortunately, that was not how it had turned out. Instead, the person on the other end of the conversation was my High School electronics teacher, Bob Benson K2IB.
Bob had gotten my cell phone number through a mutual friend, Dan N2AYM. We proceeded to have a most pleasant conversation for the next 30 minutes. He called me to mention his surprise at being mentioned in this blog and on my Webpage. It was great catching up with Bob and listening to his latest radio endeavors. He has a new TenTec Eagle, which he loves; and living in northern New Jersey, he's into operating portable.
We talked a bit about the old days at East Brunswick High School and I got the chance to thank him for being the inspiration for getting my license. In turn, he mentioned to me that he is glad that I have gotten as far as I have with Amateur Radio. Bob is getting back into CW operating and is having a blast going at it all over again.
After the phone call ended, I had the chance to reflect that Bob (somehow he will always be "Mr. Benson") was responsible for a lot more than just me getting a Ham Radio ticket. Getting that license got me way more involved with electronics than I previously had been. That in turn, led me towards completing an education in digital electronics which led to my previous job. I spent 23 years as the Service Manager for a firm called Sinar Bron, where I repaired (down to component level) high end photographic strobe equipment which was imported from Switzerland. That electronics job, and the managerial skills that I learned, landed me my current job.
As wonderful as Amateur Radio is, and the countless hours of enjoyment that it has provided me - there is so much more that I owe to Bob Benson K2IB. He started me down a path that had many twists and turns; but ultimately led me to where I am today.
Thank you, Bob, not for only being a great teacher and an inspiration; but for now becoming a friend.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!