L.B. Cebik, W4RNL
I was licensed in 1954 as both a Novice and a Tech, since then you could take both exams in one
session and privileges were separate. (W1APS/WN1APS) I got on the air for
the first time with a ham a couple of blocks away, an fine old timer.
However, I got key fright half way through. My dad, James S. (Jim) Cebik,
came to my rescue and finished the contact, although he had not touched a
key in over 20 years.
Jim Cebik had been 1ATG and later W1BUK in the late 1920s and early 1930s
(and wrote a few articles on his experiments). He gave up amateur radio
when he married in the depression years. Relative parts costs were high,
and family came first. In fact, he rarely mentioned amateur radio, and my
entry was independent via some high school comrads and a cousin. But he had
not forgotten his CW or key skills and saved me from embarrassment on that
first day. I returned the favor by renewing his interest in amateur radio
and about 1964, he was relicensed and obtained his old W1BUK call, which he
used for very many years. He died in 2002 in his high 90s.
So my Dad was a part of my Novice beginning in amateur radio, and I strove
to send CW with a straight key so that one could not tell it from a keyer.
He remains a strong part of my effort. He noted that the ham spirit is to
give, if needed, the shirt off one's back to a fellow ham and to expect--not
its return--but rather that it be passed on to the next ham who needs it.
That is the spirit of my web site.
My Novice days were a joy, and I have been pleased to carry my father's
amateur radio days into everything that I do.
Hope this is useful.