A couple things stood out in my mind when reading today’s Daily Prompt. One was the video in this post, because it’s an awesome song. Second, I was considering a story my wife told me. The third thing I’ll get to after the story.
According to my wife, a child once taught himself Morse Code and practiced by banging wooden spoons on the radiator pipe in his apartment building. He eventually got pretty fast, and to his surprise, someone started replying to him. How long he carried on conversations, she couldn’t remember.
But one day, the kid came home from school and heard the following coming from his radiator. In rapid succession.
… — …
… — …
… — …
SOS. Distress call. Only used in times of emergency.
Whomever he was communicating with was in serious trouble, and he had to find them quickly. He followed the pipes through the building until he came to an apartment where an elderly gentleman had fallen to the floor and was using his cane to tap the message on his radiator pipe. He had broken his hip and could not get up to reach the phone, but was within distance of the radiator, and trusted his friend would know to look for him.
According to my wife, the gentleman had been tapping out his distress call for at least two hours, but the whole story may very well be urban legend.
Now the third thing, as promised.
My grandfather, Joseph Bell, was a HAM Radio Operator for most of his days, and taught Morse Code well into his seventies. On 25 Jan 2014, I wrote and passed my Basic Amateur Radio Operator’s Licence exam, and I will be working to qualify for Morse Code Certification over the next couple months. I’m sure he would be proud that someone in his progeny decided to take up his great passion.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much my grandfather’s passion for communications helped the world. He helped with emergency communications in Alberta, Canada for decades under the call sign VE6VX, and even helped run communications during D-Day 2. When he died in 1997, the family was only able to keep his call sign for a year. It has since passed to someone else, and I can’t apply for a five character call sign until I’ve had my licence for five years.
Until then, I hope my request for VE6VXJ (VE6VX Junior) will go through. Perhaps I can apply for the call sign in 2019, but first things first.
I need a radio.
Which I hope to procure at the SARA Flea Market tomorrow. Fingers crossed.