Dec. 6, 2008 -- Melbourne, FL:
Bill Crosier, NT9K, of Melbourne, FL, thought Saturday morning was going to be just another get-together with nearby straight key lover Frank Haas KB4T of Daytona Beach, FL. Bill and Frank meet a few times a year for breakfast and a show 'n tell session that always attracts attention. But this get together had a little surprise for Bill.
Several weeks prior, the SKCC (Straight Key Century Club) Leadership Team decided to honor Bill with a special recognition for his lengthy service to the club. Bill has served SKCC as Webmaster, Sprints Manager as well as providing considerable data processing support for the SKCC Anniversary Special Events. Bill recently stepped down as Sprints Manager to devote more time to his Webmaster duties and his growing custom long-lever-key creation efforts.
Working secretly, the Leadership Team passed the plate and commissioned George N2JNZ, SKCC 2836T (noted for his exotic wood key bases) to put together a custom plaque with a key and an engraved plate honoring Bill for his long term service to the club.
George contacted Frank KB4T, SKCC 981T in Daytona Beach asking for assistance in presenting the plaque. When George learned that Frank & Bill meet from time to time, the plan was set. The plaque was sent to Frank and a meeting date was set with Bill.
On the day of the grand event, Johanne N4HQE agreed to accompany Frank under the pretense that she and Frank had further plans after the breakfast meeting (which was actually true!) However, her primary role was to act as photographic historian of this momentous occasion. At the appointed hour, Frank, Johanne and Bill met at a Denny's in Melbourne, FL with Frank and Bill each carrying large bags with their treasured Show N Tell items. Johanne's eyes rolled (as expected) as she realized that she was clearly in the company of two big kids and their toys.
As we awaited breakfast, Bill could hardly contain himself and broke out his latest Amplidan-based long lever key creation. Bill has been improving his tool set and gaining experience creating beautifully artistic, solid performing long lever keys with big knobs and shiny metals. His latest production was a sight to behold!
Maintaining his usual calm, cool demeanor, Frank slowly brought out the plaque and presented Bill with his award. Bill beamed with surprise but the smile on his face made it clear he was pleased to be recognized for his long hours of service to SKCC. The plaque is made of 1.5 inch thick, 8 inch square exotic wood with a J-38 style key and an engraved metal plate.
After our gourmet Denny's breakfast the Show N Tell began and Johanne took pictures. Lorna Burdick KE4WJW, manager of the Denny's, came over and visited as did other folks who were curious about the strange looking contraptions that covered the table. Bill returned a Vibroplex Lightning bug Frank had loaned him. Frank showed off a 1921 Vibroplex Lightning bug with Japanned base that he had purchased recently. Bill & Frank had fun explaining to visitors how the "machines" were used.
With the secret mission successfully accomplished and recorded, a good meal enjoyed by all and the keys adequately presented, the get-together ended with plans to meet again soon with more toys to show off.
SKCC has many dedicated members committed to making the club successful. Thanks to their efforts SKCC continues to provide a wide variety of resources and activities for those who appreciate the traditional aspects of ham radio operation. The SKCC Leadership Team thanks everyone who labors to help SKCC succeed. Your efforts are very much appreciated.
The Straight Key Century Club was created in January 2006 as a means to expand the joy of Amateur Radio's traditional Morse Code operation by creating monthly "straight key nights" and other activities that promote the use of manually operated, non-electronic keying devices. SKCC provides operating events, expert technical resources, training resources, online resources and a unique camaraderie that promote the finest traditions of Amateur Radio. SKCC membership is open to any Amateur Radio Operator anywhere. Membership is free. Visit www.skccgroup.com for more information.