Chance Encounters, Coincidences, or Memorable QSOs

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by W8KHK, Oct 7, 2019.

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  1. W8KHK

    W8KHK Ham Member QRZ Page

    On several occasions, a seemingly unremarkable QSO ends up changing one or more lives, and thus creates some interesting memories. You never know who you will meet on the air, and where it might lead. I have been wondering if many folks here have had similar experiences. Would anyone like to share the details of a "memorable" QSO? I have one that showed me how small this world can seem. Hopefully others have some too!

    This one is about chance encounters, as well as coincidences. When I was stationed at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, AZ in the '60s, I had regular skeds every Saturday morning with my dad (W2DU, SK) in NJ on 15 meters. One sked was obliterated by local QRM, non-ham. I dropped the SB-101 into the car, and headed up I-10 toward Phoenix to keep the engine cool while supporting the power-hungry tube rig. After a couple hours, we signed when I was just passing through Phoenix.

    A YL who was monitoring the frequency (Sisley Barnes, K7TLP) called and said I was in her neighborhood, and she invited me for freshly baked cinnamon rolls and hot coffee. When she met me at the door, she introduced her daughter, Joellen. She was about to introduce her daughter's boyfriend, when I said "Hi Jorge". She wondered how I knew him.... He is the younger brother of one of my high school classmates, Maria, but I had no idea their family moved from NJ to Phoenix and they were close neighbors!

    We all became friends and I visited often. Sometimes we would take a canoe to a lake, or just grab a roll of waxed paper and enjoy the super-slides. Once Joellen said she wanted to go see the big hole. I was puzzled.... Sisley said that was local slang for the Grand Canyon! Joellen was 16, and her younger sister Meg was 14. Sisley said as long as I had enough money for gas and a quarter to make a phone call, I should take the girls and have a good time.

    On one visit, Sisley told me she would be taking me for a ride. We ended up in Scottsdale, at the home of K7UGA, Barry Goldwater. She said it was her turn to do the phone patch duty for the overseas servicemen to visit with their families stateside. I learned the ropes, and after that I volunteered once a month when off-duty for the remainder of my assignment at Davis Monthan.

    Yes, it truly is a small world, made even smaller by ham radio!

    Disclaimer: Some of the things that were commonplace in the 60s would be unheard of in today's world.

    K7TLP Eyeball QSL card

    I was on upper sideband. She was on both sidebands with an unsuppressed carrier!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  2. WJ4U

    WJ4U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Worked a guy who's call sounded familiar then it "hit me" after we said 73 that I was reading his book about walking the Appalachian Trail and making QRP contacts intermittently along the way. Don't remember his callsign right now but the book is Three Hundred Zeros.
    W8KHK likes this.
  3. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fascinating story! Thanks for sharing.
    W8KHK likes this.
  4. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I've worked K5FLU on CW a couple of times. Owner of MFJ.
    W8KHK likes this.
  5. K5MIL

    K5MIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I posted this a while ago over on the Straight Keys forum and I think it would qualify for a coincidence here.

    My wife and I and our two 14 year-old grandchildren, (twins) just got back from a cruse to Alaska and I ran into a coincidence that was a one in a million concerning amateur radio.

    Back to the 1980's:
    In the 1980's I used to talk to a ham operator on 15 meters, a one Robert Savory (FO0RS), on an island in French Polynesia. This was a privately owned island and Bob, who was a U.S. citizen, worked for the owner as a caretaker, and general all-around maintenance guy. One of his duties was maintaining the owner's ham radio station. He could not tell me who the owner was, but said I would certainly know him because he was a celebrity in the U.S. I quickly surmised that it was Marlin Brando he was referring to. We had numerous contacts over a period of about a year or so.

    Back to the present:
    One evening on the cruse ship, we were in one of the dining rooms and sitting just next to us was another couple who were talking to two of the wait staff about where they were from, both were from Europe. I noticed that the woman looked possibly be Polynesian and her husband looked to be Caucasian. They were from Tahiti and were trying to explain to the two waiters where Tahiti was, as they had no clue.

    When the two waiters left, the woman looked over at our two grandchildren and said, "Do you know where Tahiti is?" Since the children go to a charter school that actually teaches Geography, they knew quite a bit about Tahiti which really impressed this woman. I even mentioned that they knew about Pitcairn Island where Fletcher Christian had settled with his crew after their mutiny and that I used to talk occasionally to Tom Christan (VR6TC) who was a grandson descendant of Fletcher Christian.

    The woman said that she had visited Pitcairn and this brought up the movie "Mutiny On The Bounty" staring Marlon Brando. I then mentioned the contacts I had with the caretaker on Brando's island. She then got very excited and said, "You mean you talked to Bob Savory?" Come to find out, she had worked for Brando on his island as a secretary/gopher and knew Bob (Brando called him "Dirty old Bob") very well and even kept up with him until he passed away after he returned to California. The woman was Hawaiian, being born and raised there and her husband was born of Caucasian parents and raised in Tahiti.

    Never would I have imagined back in the 1980's that I would by chance meet someone today that knew Bob Savory and Brando.

    Brando spent a lot of time on his island and in Tahiti because there he was just another guy instead of a celebrity and that was a reason he like amateur radio, because of the anonymity.

    Bill - K5MIL
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  6. PY2RAF

    PY2RAF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    While this is not a AM story, but I would like to share.

    Almost a year sharp since I'm back to airwaves, after a 15 year hiatus.
    Back in May I wetted my toes in a contest - operating in a VHF SSB contest (I didn't have the HF antenna at that moment).

    Having heard almost everyone of the VHF scene over here, I met a lot different people - and a neighbourhood friend, @PY2UGO - Hugo
    He also owns the same radio as me - a FT-991A and, well, I ended costing a lot of contest points to him; we moved to some other frequency and moved to a LONG and fruitful QSO - Found that he was also interested in electronics and stuff and told him about my Panadapter project. Living less than 0.5 mi from home, how come I have not stumbled upon him before!

    This ended in a great friendship.

    After I got my HF antenna I found a few airwave friends that I used to chat when I was operating /M from rural QTH - and found my good friend @PY2PHR, João Afonso - A extremely easy going person, great talker and retired expert acoustics engineer.
    So it happens that João also has a FT-991A, just like me and Hugo - And we found the cheapest excuse ever (help João config his FT-991A) to visit him at his estate, near a dam and a large river.
    Me & Hugo filled the car with bbq meat, good beer and hit the road in a 6-hour drive to visit João in a weekend: It was a GREAT time.
    I usually sleep early - we found ourselves chatting until 1 AM while Hugo took care of the grill and I ensured everyone had cold beer.

    Not forgetting to mention my friend Ricardo, @PU2URM (moving to PY2URM) also gifted us with a Cockatiel which is the family BEST PET EVER
    And also @PY2CP which was the first ham radio operator that I met F2F when I went back to operation; and received me at his QTH with his gracious YL for a afternoon coffee;

    All the knowledge that I have amassed from QRZ Forum that experts generously shared their knowledge with me, which I try to redistribute as much as possible by open sourcing my projects

    All things that amateur radio hobby provided me.

    I am thankful.

    73 and good propagation for you all.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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