My name is Charles Curle, I was first licensed as WN4TDZ in July of 1951. In your 2nd article in the novice history series for the QCWA Journal, Spring 2008, you mentioned on page 51 of not being able to contact Mr. George Cook, WN4TDY (the first novice listed in the Callbook from the 4th call district). George passed away a few years ago. I first met him at the Atlanta, GA office of the FCC on either July 2 or 3, 1951. My memory is getting fuzzy on such dates now, after all these years, but I do remember finding my first license in the mailbox 2 weeks later. Anyway, I ran into George at a couple of Hamfests and that was about all the contact I ever had with him, but I still remember our excitement at both taking and passing the exams.
I knew a lot of the local (Chattanooga, TN) hams because my family ran a wholesale radio parts business, and would do a lot of SWLing, always saying that I could never learn that 13 WPM required for the General class license. When I heard about the FCC going to establish the Novice class with 5 WPM code, I obtained an album of code records (33 1/3 RPM, I think). That was January or February. By the time July came around, I was doing about 10 WPM so the 5 WPM was a breeze. Copy a letter, wait and wait for the next one.
Upgraded to General in December of 1951 and to Advanced in December of 1952. Stayed as W4TDZ until sometime after 1975, when a friend of mine came through town and had obtained a 1 x 2 call. I figured if he could do that, so could I. About 2 years later I passed the code test (just couldn't get my speed up any faster). Had never seen a study guide for the Extra written, but passed it as I was working as an Electronic Technician at the time. If it hadn't have been for multi choice questions, I wouldn't have passed the code test, but that is another story.
Sorry that I got carried away. All I really wanted to do was to tell you about George. Lots of Novices have come and gone since the beginning.
73, God bless,
Charlie Curle, AD4F