Richard Cohen, K6DBR
(formerly KN6DBR, 1957)
I attended Alexander Hamilton High School. One of the required courses for boys was Electronics taught by Jack Brown. Jack also taught a class in Amateur radio after the school's regular hours. Jack was an extraordinary person and teacher. I was initially facinated by the aspects of electronics. The thought of pushing around electrons and making them do what I wanted, was overwhelming to me. I wasn't that interested in Ham Radio. BUT, Jack in his wisdom and never ending exuberance challenged me to get my license. Jack never stopped challenging me. No matter how far I went in any effort, He wanted to see more. Through his prodding I got my Novice license on Oct 14, 1957. I joined the Hamilton HS Radio Club. I went on Field Day with the group. I had a ball.
At some point, the club wanted it's own station on campus. Jack got a room available. We needed an antenna. We needed a tower to put the antenna on. The wheels started turning. I was in the group that helped get the tower. We discovered that the Power company was willing to donate a power pole, but would not put it up. We discovered that the Telephone company would put it up but would not provide the pole. Each figured that by only volunteering for half of the effort, they probably wouldn't have to any of it. They didn't count on the cleverness of some High School electronics students. Jack taught us to never give up. He wouldn't take "I can't." as an answer.
My first rig was a home made one tube transmitter. And an old hallicrafters receiver, I borrowed. I worked CW for about six months. Talked to the world and loved it, but I didn't like the slow nature of CW. I talked my parents into buying a Gonset Communicator III for 2 meters AM. This started my career in Amateur Radio and my vocation.
I went on to college and graduated with a BSEE. When I first started college, they gave me a battery of tests to determine what my aptitudes were. They said I should be an architect or artist because of my spaceial recognitions. They said it would be much harder for me to make it in electronics. I remembered what Jack said, "Can't isn't in your vocabulary." I went on to a very rewarding career as an Electronic Engineer. I have remained active in Amateur radio for the last 40 years. I obtained a commercial Radio License as well a becoming a Registered Professional Engineer.
It was Jack Brown that inspired me and pushed me into doing more that I ever thought I could. The one thing that I have found to be true about LIFE is that "The only true limitation to human achievement is Death." So, There you have it.