Silent Night, Silent Key

Silent Night, Silent Key

If you will allow me to wax poetic for a moment, I would like to pay tribute to those who have gone before us…those who have paved the way for us to enjoy this great hobby of ours. It might not be all that long before I join them, but until then, I want to say thank you to those folks who upheld the fine traditions of a wonderful pastime.

In other posts I mentioned how sad it was to attend the estate sale of an SK. Well, it is. I feel a little cheap when I purchase a few belongings of an SK. I can’t help it. We all know that perhaps it helps out a spouse who is left behind, but somehow each time it seems like the end of an era. If the SK was a long time ham, then it IS the end of an era. It’s going to happen to me and I won’t know the difference, but until then I can’t help but look at it differently.

In the past I have advised my friends to come over and steal what they can before anybody notices the theft if anything happens to me. Hey, please wait until I croak, Don’t assume that I’m gone just because I went to the grocery store….have a little respect, huh? I suppose what worries me more than that is that whomever liquidates my radio gear knows what the value of each item is. Just about impossible I know, but I want my survivors to get maximum benefit from all this junk. However, I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn they dug a big hole and pushed everything into it. Might be easier.

And what about the passing along of the callsign of an SK? I would certainly want to do justice to the previous owner if I were in that position. Maybe whoever gets my callsign will at least hang a picture of me up in their shack. Yeah, right. What if someone asks YOU to help liquidate the radio gear of an SK? I suppose the first step is to help the family inventory what is there. You need to establish control first. If you have the luxury, it can go piecemeal and most likely you can get a better price for the family. But, sometimes they just want it gone. Like I said before: have a little respect and don’t sell them short. There have been plenty of hams I knew that passed away and to be quite honest, I would have bid on some of their gear, but dang if I would ever go ask someone of any of his/her stuff was for sale yet. I just don’t have it in me. I don’t want the equipment to be what drives me.

Alright now, I’m really stepping in horse hockey here because I LOVE equipment, but I am saying this: If it was only equipment and you had no one to talk to, made no friends, saw no one at the hamfest you recognized and no one cursed you behind your back, this hobby would be nothing. I like racks full of equipment, but like the rabbi who made a hole-in-one on Saturday, if you can’t show to anyone, it’s no fun. Remember, the title of my last post?

I’m getting a little off track here, but racks of equipment do not make you a ham operator as much as the spirit of what you do with those racks does. I’m happy for the guys and gals who can afford lots of stuff….God bless ’em. God bless those Silent Keys too. They have Morse Code in Heaven don’t they?

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