Mike "Jug" Jogoleff, WA6MBZ
(Formerly WN6MBZ,1969; WB6MBZ, WA6MBZ)
I got my novice in 1969 while I was studying for a Masters Degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM.
I wrote to the SCM of New Mexico (now called the SM) about getting someone to give me a novice test, and he arranged for WA5UJY, LaVerne Lathrop, to give me the novice test and all.
LaVerne said that he was an full blooded American Indian and that he spoke Navajo, Spanish, and English. He was the Street Superintendant for the City of Albuquerque, NM. I never got around to talking to him more about his back- ground.
He had just worked on his tube type morse code keyer, a Hallicrafters, I think, so as to increase its maximum sending speed, and he did that so he could operate on NTS traffic nets at full speed. He altered the speed by changing out a capacitor in the main oscillator circuit. He used what he had at hand rather than go out a buy something new. He said that was very "Navajo", that is, to use what you have. After the modification, he used the keyer as planned and he only discovered that its new slowest speed was 18 wpm when he went to send me the text of the Novice code test.
He apologized but he sent me the novice code test at that speed anyway!!! Apparently, he had never given a Novice test prior to doing it with/for me. While he was sending
the code test and while I was answering the novice theory and rules/regulations questions, he appeared to be more nervious than I was.
He kept calling me on the phone and asking if my license had come. Finally, one day, it did and he got me on the air and he started asking me all kinds of questions in morse code. At that time, I just could not figure out where is he coming from in asking all those questions. He later admitted that he did not want to be accused of just giving away a license and so he wanted to be sure that I could really copy the morse code!!! I guess, because he worked for the City, he did not want any trouble with the FCC.
The problem I had was that I received the callsign WA6MBZ in the mail and my license said GENERAL. I called the League and wrote to the FCC. There was no way to call the
FCC those days. They sent me WN6MBZ as a NOVICE license in three weeks or so, despite the fact that in those days it could take 7 or 8 weeks to get a new license or an
upgrade out of them.
Several months later, in January of 1970, I went to Denver, CO, during a semester break and took and passed the GENERAL tests for real and failed the ADVANCED, but I only took about five or ten minutes to go through it, go down stairs, and start driving back to Alburquerque, NM to make the first session of an evening class in a new semester.
When I got the real GENERAL license, it said W B 6MBZ, yes "B" But I looked in the callbook and some guy in Lafayette, CA, already held that call as a permitted second callsign. Yes, in those days, if you had two stations, you had to have two call signs as well.
I wrote to the FCC again and I soon realized that my corrected license under whatever callsign as a GENERAL would held up or misplaced in the national postal/mail strike of 1970.
I called my Congressman from Santa Barbara, CA, at his local office and he or his staff arranged to have the FCC send me a telegram, the contents of which was my Amateur Radio license under WA6MBZ as a General.
I have not had any trouble with the FCC since then !!!
73 de "Jug", WA6MBZ