Barry Whittemore, WB1EDI (1977)
After finding a Hallicrafters S38A on a junk shelf in Radio Shack in Concord NH i started listening to the Short Wave stations and eventually heard some people just talking to each other. This was a group of new england 80 meter AM ops. That got me interested. i ended up getting a Hallicrafters SX101 RX and was able to listen to SSB and CW. I taught myself CW and rules etc. After a while i heard of an ongoing Ham radio class in a nearby town and went over to join the class.
The man running it (K1TMD) told me that i was not likely to catch up as they were several weeks into the class. After the class he told me that i was way ahead of the others in the class. i already knew all the code etc and had studied the theory/rules. He gave me my Novice exam with an on air QSO from his station as my 5wpm code test. I soon bought a Yaesu FT101E like my elmers. On June 13th 1977 my Ticket arrived, WB1EDI. I listened and heard nothing so i called CQ a few times with no one coming back. a while later i heard W2BXP calling CQ in the Novice band on 80 meters. Bill was very patient with my poor sending and he got my address and sent me a QSL card. My very first QSL card. After a few months of going at it with CW on the bands i was called by Glenn WB1EJH from CT. I was his first contact. I proudly display the QSL cards from W1BXP and WB1EJH on my shack wall. Neither op is listed in QRZ any more. Bill i suspect is a silent Key and Glenn (who was 14 at the time) i assume gave up the hobby. These were 2 first for me that i can still remember fondly 30 years later. In sept of 1977 i passed my general exam but failed the CW so i got a Technician class licence and went off to Navy Boot camp. after a short career in the Navy i got back to NH and got my Advanced in 93 and Extra in 94.
I still do CW the way i did as a Novice. I use a straight key and more recently a bug.