Frederick Soper - KC8FS - NAQCC # 2642
I was born in Battle Creek Michigan on March 30th, 1948. I grew up on a farm in Hillsdale county Michigan.
I volunteered for the draft after graduation in 1966, and for some reason was never called. I joined the USAF in 1974 and retired in Limestone Maine in 1994, I am a Vietnam era veteran, and a Gulf war veteran.
While I was stationed in Abilene Texas in 1978 I met N5XU, Dick Griffin, who took me under his wing and elmered me until I was licensed in 1979, as KA5CXZ. I was very active on the MARS bands as AFA4PV until I went to England in 1981. Dick died about a year later from a kidney disease.
While I was in England I was inactive due to the power and cycle difference.
I returned from England and applied for a 1 call to coincide with the 1 call area I was living in and was issued KA1OKC. The ham bug however, had left me in the five years I spent in England. I was inactive with this call and let my license expire.
In 1998 I met Tony Gilotti, I forget Tony's call now, but at his insistence I took the the tech plus exam and passed the 5 wpm and basic test and was issued the call KB1DLV.
Soon after I received my general ticket I got on the county hunter PHONE net, (not to be confused with the real operators of amateur radio, the CW ops) I wanted worked all states and put out a call for anyone that wanted Aroostook County Maine. I answered 17 calls when some jerk came on the frequency and said I was not authorized to operate that frequency and to get off frequency my contacts were invalid. Which they were not, the FCC hadn't got around to updating QRZ, which I tried to explain but he had the attitude, "I Know what I know, don't confuse me with the facts." And rather than get into a stupid argument with an inferior mind, I left the frequency. I returned one card out of 17 contacts, that ended my county hunting.
In 1999 I held an advanced license and was working on my extra, when the code requirement was dropped to 5 wpm across the board. I was and am proud of my code proficiency and did not want to be known as a 5 wpm extra, so I kept my advance class license, with that license the other operators would know I passed the 13 wpm,(I am somewhat vain) and I couldn't see where extra would benefit me that much.
I had a stroke in 2005, and my retirement pay was not enough to support us and jobs being as scarce as they were in Maine we moved back to Michigan so my wife could supplement my retirement pay from the service.
I was once again inactive after my stroke, CW was nothing but a lot of noise, I couldn't distinguish a dit from a dah, let alone recognize any sort of rhythm to the characters. My arm was stiff and clumsy I couldn't send two dits together without messing it up. I tried voice and the words wouldn't come out right. So instead of working on my problems I went into a period of self pity.
In June my wife suggested I get my radio back out and operate again, I said I was unable to. My wife, knowing how to work her husband, said if I was going to just give up I might as well sell all the equipment at a ham fest or yard sale. I got them out threw up a wire antenna and realized I could learn the code again.
I'm back on the air and my code is improving and my speech is almost perfect. I applied for a vanity call of KC8FS, and that brings us up to date.
I have a very loving and understanding wife, without her diligence and faith in me, (which I had lost somewhere along the way) I would not be where I am today. We have 5 children, Rick, Theresa, Chasity, Iona (Missy) and Jason, along with 10 Grandchildren.
I am very happy to have found NAQCC, it seems these are my kind of operators, simple wire antenna's, low power, and CW. It doesn't get any better than this!!!!!
Fred KC8FS Fist #5753 NAQCC #2642
Stay Radio-Active, and keep CW alive!!!!!!!