Well, OK, by "complexity of the VE system", I meant that you need to figure out the process. That was also true of the old FCC system. All the more reason to join a club or have access to a local repeater (upgraders), so you can stay in touch with people in your area who know the procedure. (Can I just "show up"? How long does the test take? Do I need to fill out any forms in advance? What do I bring? How much does it cost? What do I need to know?) As far as the expense goes, $5 for a license every time you upgrade, $5/yr for ARRL membership, $79 for a Heathkit DX-60, $79 for a Heathkit HR-10, who knows how much for a stock of crystals, a few bux for a dipole, etc., was a fair amount of money for a high school student in 1965. (My part time job paid $1.10/hour!) The Heathkit SB series, or God-forbid, a Collins KWM-2 was completely out of reach. However!! Once you decide to become a ham, none of that stands in your way. I don't really understand the notion that cost would be the thing that keeps you from doing stuff you really want to do. Birthday presents, Christmas presents, good report card presents, part-time jobs, used or loaned equipment, help from friends -- those can all help get a newbie started. But there is no denying the curve flattening in 1964. Societal change isn't a totally satisfying reason to explain it. I discovered there was a thing called ham radio on a GR-64 shortwave receiver dial. My dad had to ask at his work what it was. I don't think it's much different today. But somehow, once kids show an interest in electronics and/or radio, I think they eventually learn of ham radio. Still, it doesn't hurt, especially today, to get our story out there.