Our Stories
Bill Weinhardt W9PPG
Dale Bredon W6BGK 
Bob McDonald W4DYF
Charlie Curle AD4F
Jim Franklin K4TMJ 
Elmer Harger N7EL
Byron Engen W4EBA
Hank Greeb N8XX
Gene Gertler, AD2I
Richard Schachter W6HII
Dick Bender W3SYY
Tom Webb W4YOK 
Ron D' Eau Claire AC7AC
Ron Baker WA6AZN
Sam Whitley K5SW 
Gary Borri K9DBR
Steve Jensen W6RHM
Jim Leighty W6UJX
Dan Girand W5ARB
Dan Bathker K6BLG
Bill Bell KN2CZZ 
George Marko K2DWL  
Kenny Cassidy WN2WNC
Rick Faust N2RF
Fred Jensen K6DGW
Alvin Burgland W6WJ
Paul Signorelli W0RW
Jim Brown W5ZIT
Bob Rolfness W7AVK
Paul Danzer N1II
Charlie Lofgren W6JJZ
Joe Montgomery W1DWJ
Dick Dabney K6BZZ
Ray Cadmus W0PFO
John Johnston W3BE
Dan Smith K6PRK
Dick Zalewski W7ZR
Bob Brown W4YFJ
L.B. Cebik W4RNL (sk) 
Carl Yaffey K8NU 
Gary Liljegren W4GAL 
 Paul Johnston W9PJ
Jack Burks K4CNW
Al Cammarata W3AWU
Gene Schonrock W6EAJ
Dave Germeyer W3BJG 
David Quagiana K2MTW
Dan Schobert W9MFG
Jack Schmidling K9ACT
Dan Marks ex-K6IQF
Matt Wheaton W1EMM 
1951 - 1955
1956 - 1960
1961 - 1965
1966 - 1970
1971 - 1975
1976 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000

Dan Marks, ex-K6IQF
(formerly KN6IQF, 1955)

I entered Hami (Los Angeles's Alexander Hamilton High School) in 1955 as a geeky 10th grader.  It was, and I guess it still is a 3-year high school.  At the time I thought it luck, but now I'm thinking that it was wisdom on the part of my counselor that I was advised to take Electric Shop‑I with Jack Brown in that 1st semester.

K6IQFThe class membership was dichotomous; some smart types on an academic track like me, many of us gawky, and the remainder guys definitely not on their way to college, many of them what we called hoods in those days.  There were no girls in shop classes back then.

JB, Mr. Brown, i.e. Jack Brown had the look of a tough longshoreman - the look of a welter-weight with a bunch of fights under his belt.  He was a tough guy by demeanor, but what an amazing intelligence and humor was visible in his eyes and came out of his mouth.  He taught and handled geek and hood with ease and with much fun.

Well, the first 5 minutes of every day in Electric Shop‑I and ‑II was devoted to learning Morse code.  JB would teach us the code for a couple of characters each day, and then using an audible tone oscillator and a simple key, send us messages, in the beginning just words, which we had to copy.  I'm not sure why he did that, but I was good at it.  We learned Ohm's Law and got to witness it with batteries, resistors, voltmeters and ammeters, and I was good at that stuff too.  (I wasn't very good at mechanical stuff - construction, soldering, etc., but JB was a patient if an exacting teacher - one of his favorite epigrams: "Gee Dan, if I'd wanted a sloppy job, I'd have done it myself".)  During that 1st semester, he pointed me towards the Radio Club, K6CXI, which he sponsored and which had a "shack" in a corner of the shop.

There, the club members and JB helped me study for the Novice license theory test - up until three years ago when we moved out of the house in which we lived for 23 years, I still had a well worn, stained and musty smelling 1955 ARRL Handbook.  Because of the daily Morse code sessions, I was already copying over 5 words/minute on letters and numbers.  Then, as I remember it, I went to downtown L.A. to take my exam, and passing it received call sign KN6IQF.  My General call was K6IQF, which I got the following year.

After getting my Novice license, JB & the club provided advice on my purchasing and building a Heathkit AT-1 transmitter and buying a surplus receiver from Henry Radio.  My folks gave me some room in our garage for my "shack" and I spent many an hour tapping out 35 watt CW signals in the 15, 40 and 80 meter bands - I had QSLs from about half the states and one night with auspicious hop, made contact with and exchanged cards with an amateur in Chile.

I remember going up in the local mountains to my first Field Day with JB, his son and the rest of the club.  I only had my Novice license and was only being able to operate CW on the lowest powered transmitter, but had a great time with more to come.

I don't know how active a ham JB was - not very during my stay at Hami - but I'm sure he fostered many a Novice licensee, all of the ones that I knew later getting their Technician, General and Advanced tickets.

Dan Marks