Leigh Klotz, Sr., N5LK
(Formerly WN5UBQ, 1968; WA5UBQ)
It was 1968 and I was 48 years old at that time when I received my novice ticket - WN5UBQ. I got into ham radio by accident. My son, five years old at the time asked me how a tube worked. I had no earthly notion, told him so but also said that I'd order a book and we learn how together. The Allied Radiobeginners book on electronics came and we both found out about the tube and other goodies. The International Morse code symbols were printed and I asked him if he would like to learn the code. He did so I would learn a letter, then I'd whistle it to him. Of course that slowed my copy speed later.
It didin't take long for us to learn the alphabet, ten days. The book also mentioned Amateur Radio; I knew a ham and asked him how to get a license. Another ham gave me the novice test. AS I learned I taught the theory to Leigh, Jr--now WA5ZNU. We didn't know that the examiner could read the questions to him so he didn't get his ticket until he could read at 7 years old.
I bought and built a Heath Kit HW 100 after getting on the air with a loaned one channel Heath. Soon I found out some more fellows who were slow code hams trying to up their speed. We me every night and had a round table of slow cw. Sometimes others joined us but WN4GMB, WB4IQH and me were there every night for a couple of hours.
One night somebody kept trying to break in but his speed was way beyond what any of us could copy. He kept on breaking and giving his call and I kept trying to read him. Finally, I heard a "u" and thought maybe he was calling me. I sent back to him to QRS but he never slowed down and kept sending his call. About every five to eight times I would pick up a letter until I finally I got his call sign and that he was a /MM. I told him to send a word at a time, over and over until I could get a word, then he would send the next word.
To shorten this he was sending me a name and telephone number for one of his ship mate's wife. He wanted me to call her and ask about her condition. She was pregnant and there was a distinct possibility that she might abort. Of course, he was worried sick until I called and got the info that she was doing very well. It seems that we had a mutual friend who told him that I was a ham and gave him my call sign in case he might need to find out about his wife. The shipboard ham later told me that he couldn't slow down his bug because he had removed the weights and threw it away. It made me feel glad that I had accidentally got into Amateur Radio. But that is another story.
N5LK-ex WA5UBQ-Leigh (Klotz)