Dan Gaylord, W7IDG
(formerly WN7CVW, 1965)
I worked & worked & worked and thanks to the patience of my Elmer, the late Lew Hanson, WA7AGB, I finally sat for The Test, and in June of '64 or '65 became WN7CVW.
Now to work DX! For the first month or so I couldn't reach beyond Washington and Oregon, except for one prime DX station in W6 land. I got home from mowing lawns one afternoon and found an envelope in my mailbox. It bore a postmark from Kingsville, TX. Since I didn't know anyone in Texas I thought that it must be some kind of rare DX, got really pumped up and excited and tore it open. Turns out that it really was a QSL card.... Of sorts. Seems as if my 2nd harmonic from my 3.728 megacycle ( yup, that what they were called back then, ) found it's way up into the broadcast part of the 40 Meter band.
My 15 year old world came crashing down an top of my head! I just knew that the FCC was going to be knocking at my door any minute and take lock me up and take away my Viking Adventurer and my BC-428, an 'O' model at that and all 4 of my most prized crystals!! I was done for! Life was no longer worth living, so I thought that I had better call my Elmer and face his wrath for messing up so badly, but had to leave a message with his wife. Lew called and talked my mother into telling me that the FCC was on the phone. I just knew it was ALL over. I can still hear him laughing over the phone when he finally told me who he was. I was so shook up I didn't even recognize his voice.
Now, with many thousands of hours in the shack and the calls WN7SHN, WA7SHN and W7IDG I look back and know that I will be forever grateful for the time WA7 America's Greatest Broadcaster spend mentoring me in the ways of a good and thoughtful operator.