Rose – 8 of 17


Rose and Charlie were seeing each other on a regular basis, during the last few weeks of high school. Many of their dates were spent in the radio shack, while she’d learned Morse code.

“I think I want to earn my ham license,” she announced one evening. “Can you help me?”

“You bet. Right now let’s shoot for a class B ticket.”


“Well, ticket, license. The two terms are interchangeable. The testing schedule is once every quarter. I’ll have to check, but I think the next testing session is in September. That will give us plenty of time to prepare you for it and you can test before going off to college.”


For about fifteen minutes each evening she studied theory and code,

“You’re still in the learning mode from high school. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be ready for your test.

They worked day after day, week after week. Finally, test day arrived. With Virgil’s permission, Charlie drove Rose to the FCC field office in Kansas City. She was nervous about the test, especially the code sending portion. He brought along the J-38 key she’d been practicing with, in hopes that the engineer would allow her to use it.

The engineer allowed it, and after an hour she had earned her Class B amateur radio license, giving her CW privileges on 40-meters. Three weeks later, she received a copy of her license which she framed and hung in Charlie’s ham shack.

But Charlie had plans. He hadn’t waited for the paper license to arrive. He was already building a forty-meter mobile transmitter with a rotor-selector providing three crystal-controlled frequencies. The power output was about twenty-Watts. The receiver was a transverter making the car radio capable of receiving forty-meter frequencies. The antenna was a bottom loaded vertical, permanently tuned to cover that small portion of forty. Everything worked off the six-Volt system. She just needed to have the motor running.

With the mobile station ready, he took her Ford coupe into the shop one evening and by midnight it was installed.

The family farm was west of Butler, about two miles from the Kansas line, far enough for a good radio test. Virgil and Anne were impressed. Rose was ecstatic.

The following week Rose packed her clothes and headed for Lawrence, Kansas to enroll at the University of Kansas and major in Geopolitics.

Every evening at 2000 hours local time they met on one of those three frequencies and chatted, in CW, of course, for ten or fifteen minutes. When they were finished they each signed with 88.

There was a future with these two and they both knew it.