For James ham radio began twenty years ago when his neighbor told him that there was more to radio than he was experiencing on a CB. Curtis Robinson, KJ4CX, became James’ first mentor in amateur radio and soon after James sat for the technician’s license at Lone Star Elementary. He acquired a 2 meter/440 radio and hit the airwaves.

When James married, he became inactive for a few years until he uncovered his ham equipment and a found desire to get back on the radio. Since then, James has set up a station in his home, put up an antenna in his back yard, and he has encouraged his wife Genia to join him. She is currently studying for her technician’s license while he has upgraded his tech license to general.

James says he enjoys being back on the radio. He talks to a group from Callahan each morning on 440 and frequently talks to other OPARC members on the repeater. He likes talking to Charlie, N2CCR, too. While he enjoys his conversations, James has had some frustrations with his rediscovered hobby. His homeowners association imposes restrictions that made putting up a tower impossible. He was able to solve this problem by putting a 30-40 foot push-up pole or “flag pole” in his back yard using a G5RV. To be better heard on HF is another of James’ challenges. Of course like all of us, he would also love to have unlimited financial resources to make his every radio equipment wish come true.

When asked what he thinks ham radio does best, James’ answer was inspiring. “On the local level”, James said, “I think ARES is the true spirit of ham radio.” He is ready to help whenever he is needed and is eager to learn more about the opportunities for service ARES provides. Nationally, James likes the camaraderie in the ham community. “It doesn’t matter what an amateur radio operator’s background might be, what they do for a living, whether they are rich or poor, there is a common base that makes us all equally the same.” When it comes to international communication, James finds talking to someone overseas exciting. “You can meet someone different, pull up their call sign, and see where they live.” He enjoys talking to them and seeing what they do. Overseas communication also confirms for him that his radio and antennae system is working and that he’s doing something right.

James finds learning new things through ham radio keeps his mind active. “You are never too old to learn”, he says,”If you think you already know and have learned everything, you are done. Everyone has something he can still learn.”

Listen for James on the radio and be sure to welcome him to our club.