Despite the formal name of John, as listed in the FCC’s database, no one has called me that since the day I was born! I am called “Jack” by anyone that knows me. If you call me “John”, I know that you are either trying to sell me something, looked me up on QRZ, or are a bill collector — HI! The nickname of Jack attached to anyone named John must be an old New England naming custom i.e John, a.k.a. “Jack” Kennedy et al
I originally got interested in Short-Wave Radio as a young teen while working on the Radio Merit Badge towards my Eagle rank in the Boy Scouts. After building my first Short-Wave receiver and while listening to the ham bands as an SWL, I really got interested in becoming a ham. I was first licensed in August 1958 as a Novice with the call of KN1IVY and my original home QTH was Providence, RI. Later on that year I upgraded to General Class and dropped the Novice ‘N’ and kept the callsign K1IVY until I let it lapse in 1972. During the 1970′s, I got involved with the CB radio “craze” and ended up owning a few CB Radio stores in New Hampshire along the way. I took a 15-year hiatus from ham radio until 1987, when I re-tested in Colorado and received my Extra Class amateur license with 20 WPM CW as was required back then, and assigned my current WMØG callsign. Now that I am back living in New England again, I wonder if I should change me callsign back to my old “1” area call? This year, I just celebrated my 62nd anniversary as an amateur radio operator.
I have worked in Engineering and in Sales and Marketing Management for various large electronic companies for the bulk of my career. I left the Corporate world in the mid-1990s to go into business for myself as a Manufacturer’s Representative here in Colorado representing major electronic components and wire manufacturers. I retired at the beginning of 2019. Recently, my XYL and I moved back to New Hampshire and are enjoying our retirement days.
My beautiful XYL, Mary, and I celebrated our 58th Wedding Anniversary this past June and we have long since achieved the glorious title of “empty-nesters” with our four grown children and five beautiful grandchildren. No one else in my family has been bitten by the ham radio bug. I guess they figured that they wouldn’t get a chance to operate anyway due to my excessive ham radio involvement. I certainly believed in starting the kids off young as depicted below with my oldest daughter, Gigi in a picture taken back in 1964.
Other hobbies, interests, and time sinks include researching and writing the never-ending family genealogy with over 48,000 names researched so far. In just its sheer weight, the entire family genealogy book makes ‘War and Peace‘ look like a paperback. Back in the 70′s, and just prior to the classic made for TV movie “Roots” came out, I managed to write a how-to book on the subject of Genealogy. More recently, Mary and I have published a family cookbook called “Paesanos and Pioneers“. Included in this *ahem* extensively researched work are recipes from my Sicilian-Italian family heritage along with recipes from Mary’s All-American Pioneer family heritage who are mostly of Scots-Irish descent. She reminds me from time to time that “some of ‘her people’ came over on the Mayflower”. I tell her that “well, at least ‘my people’ paid for their trip to get here!”
I also like to spend time fishing for most anything that swims or has at least gotten damp. I am constantly reminded by my fishing buddies that there will never be an endangered freshwater or saltwater species of fish caused by my prowess with a fly, lure, rod & reel. I am a serious proponent of ‘catch and release’ — mostly because I am really tired of cleaning fish! I was an active B.A.S.S. Tournament angler in New Hampshire before I moved out to Colorado. Now that I’m back living in New Hampshire, I’m sure that the bass will once again fear my name! I also was a very active saltwater tournament angler, along with my father, in the prestigious U.S. Atlantic Tuna Tournament that was based in Galilee, Rhode Island. The picture to the left is of a 545 pound Giant Bluefin Tuna caught while fishing the USATT with Boston Red Sox baseball immortal, Ted Williams (seated on the port gunwale) who was my dad’s fishing buddy. I am anxiously awaiting to resume saltwater angling once again.
I am very proud to have served as the Colorado ARRL Section Manager from 2012 until 2020 and to be able to pay back this wonderful ham radio hobby through my endeavors. I am the past President, and a Life member, of the Boulder Amateur Radio Club. I also served as the Public Information Officer for the Boulder County ARES – Region 1 – District 3 (BCARES) Group when I lived in Colorado. I am a member of the Mile High DX Association.
My primary ham radio interest is DXing, both on CW and SSB. I recently was awarded my 5-Band DXCC. I had most of those DXCC QSL’s stored away in a cardboard box for over ten years. I finally gathered them all together and sorted them out. Then I asked my local ARRL DXCC card checker to verify them so I could apply for the 5BDXCC award. You can’t imagine how ‘thrilled’ he was to receive from me a briefcase filled with over 600 QSL cards! He was even less thrilled when I handcuffed the briefcase to his wrist. After all, those QSL cards represented over 10 years of hard-earned DX contacts.
I was involved with getting youth into amateur radio, along with many other of the ham members in BARC. This is very important for the future of our hobby. The Boulder Amateur Radio Club has a world-wide recognized youth auxiliary club called the BARC Juniors. During the past 30 years, BARC members have taught, licensed and “Elmered” over 280 young hams under the age of 18, many of which who have attained Extra Class privileges. Make sure you visit the “Youth in Amateur Radio Forum” at Dayton and see our internationally known BARC Junior representatives and the other young hams from across the USA, giving presentations about their ham radio activities. 2020 would have been, if not for COVID-19, the 29th consecutive year that our BARC Juniors would have proudly represented the Boulder Amateur Radio Club at Carole Perry’s, WB2MGP “Youth in Amateur Radio Forum” at the National HAMvention in Xenia, Ohio.
I’ve been known to collect a few antique “boat-anchors” now and then. What bothers me today is, that I can remember when these “antique boat-anchors” were new and considered to be the latest in radio technology!
Please check out the rest of my WMØG web page where I have some interesting links and a couple of articles on my now famous all-band “RainguttIR” Antenna. The RainguttIR is just like the famous SteppIR antennas, only different – HA! My RainguttIR antenna appears in the Stealth Antenna Book published by the RSGB and written by Steve Nichols, GØKYA. The RainguttIR is also featured in an article on stealth antennas in the very informative SGC-230 Smartuner manual.
73 ES GUD DX DE JACK WMØG