Gene Schonrock, W6EAJ
(formerly WN0ZQP, 1955)
I think it was early 1955 when I was issued WN0ZQP. I lived on the 2nd floor of a 3 floor apartment bldg in Denver Colorado. I was 23 Yrs. Old. My Father and I lived together and he had always been interested in electronics but lacked funds and health to get his ticket. He and sat across the breakfast table from me, in the breakfast nook and we took turns sending code to each other. We usually used the daily newspaper as source material. I took and passed the test, and then the misery set in, "The Wait". In the mean time I bought a Globe Scout Transmitter from World Radio Labs in Omaha Nebraska and I had some brand of HalliScratchers receiver that we all know was as drifty as a piece of string hung from a branch of a tree. We put a 40 meter folded dipole up on the roof and ran the twin lead down along the upstairs apartment's window and into our own. No one ever saw either I don't believe.
I was working for the "Great Western Sugar" company as an office boy, making big money, $1.10 an Hr. As time for the ticket came nearer I daily called home to see if "IT" had arrived. One afternoon I called home and when my dad answered the phone I said "Hi, it's the Kid". He said, "you mean double you n six zed queue pee?". I instantly got very sick and had to take off work.
A 15 or 20 min bus ride was at least 2 hours long. I already knew exactly what I was going to do when the moment came. I was going to tune up on 40 meters and call CQ. Of course my Dad was as excited as I was so he was "hovering" as I tapped out, DA DI DA DIT DA DA DI DA. (CQ). The result was totally un-expected. I was answered by a WH6 (XXX). It took a long time for my brain to realize it was an "H" not 2 6's. By now sweat was rolling down from under the cans. Dad being the jokester that he was, saw an opportunity to utilize the thin winter air in Denver and started scrubbing his feet across the living room rug, building up quite a charge. He proceeded to take his index finger and touch the lobe of my right ear, sending me toward the ceiling. What happened to the contact I don't remember. I later got a kind of pink slip from some monitor in Canada saying I had a harmonic somewhere. Scarred me half to death. I wanted to turn out the lights and hide in the closet.
New job at a radio products store I was able to acquire a used Collins 75A1 receiver and I kept the Globe Scout transmitter for many years. I don't recall what happened to it.
I believe it was in 1964 that my wife and I took and passed the general class @ 13 wpm. She was assigned WB6OTF. We lived in "Honeydew CA" on the Mattole River near cape Mendocino in Humboldt County. Later we moved to Petrolia, also in the Mattole river valley. The site of the first drilled oil well in Calif. She died in 1975 at the age of 33.
Gene W6EAJ /Mobile