Russ Roberts, KH6JRM (1977)
I was first licensed in 1977 as KH6JRM--a call I still retain. Don Nakano was my elmer (I've forgotten his call). I became a novice after years of broadcasting and military communications work. I procrastinaged many years before making the leap into the "ether" I went through all the license classes before reaching amateur extra in 2005. The novice experience was priceless.
My first rig was a quirky HW-101 with a mind of its own. I must have taken that rig apart at least ten times before I got the bugs out. I still have my old J-38 key as a momento of that time. Reaching California with a homebrew vertical and 50 or so watts was a quite a thrill. I wish I still had that old "hot water" 101. I keep an old, but totally functional Kenwood TS-520S as a momento of those novice days.
With the exception of the local 40 meter island net, I don't heat up the atmosphere too much. My work as a news director for nine radio stations keeps me busy, but I manage to keep the filaments warm on occaison.