In half a century

I have met a ham from USA on a ship bound for Ohshima, near Tokyo, at a night in summer when I was going to a camp with the amateur ham club members of the college I was attending to. It was in 1960s. I was a teen age boy. The ship heading to the island has had many passengers, maily young peoplen on aboard. Some foreign girls in girl scout uniform also on aboard attracted our eyes. The ship was sailing in the darkness in Tokyo Bay. A quiet evening. I was handling a super generation transceiver in a lunch box for 6 meters. A guy was coming close to me and was asking if it was for ham radio. He was Bernie WA7CBX. I am sure he was leading the girl scout group going for also camping. I don't remember what I have talked to him then. My limited vocabulary in English prevented me from conversing with him freely. But, with a feeling of company sharing the same thing as a hobby, we have enjoyed our meeting there.

After a long interval off the air in 1970s, I came back on the air when I was serving residency at a med school hospital in the beginning of '80s. With 14AVQ on the drom roof and brand new TS830, I was quite active on CW. Again, in a summer of 1980s, I was on 40m, when a guy whom I had not known called me and told Bernie was on the side of him. Later, in his letter to me, Bernie shouted that it was me as soon as he heard my call on 40m. It was in the Field Day in US. They were joining it together somewhere in a mountain. I have corresponded with Bernie for a couple of times but no real QSO with him on the air yet.

A couple of days ago, when I was talking to a friend, Jack WA7HJV, in Oregon, I happened to remember of Bernie, whom I had known in the QRZ.com that he still held his call and was still in Walla Walla Oregon like in '80s. Upon my inquiry if he knew Bernie there, Jack answered he did not know him, 40 miles away from Jack, in person but had ever talked him on the radio in the past. I asked Jack to get Bernie's mail address if he should meet him somewhere.

Jack called me on 40m last night. He has kindly given Bernie a phone call and has talked him for even half an hour. Bernie was fine, as Jack told me, and has lost a Quad that may mean he has not been on the HF at least. Bernie seemed to have remembered of me. He should be 83 or 84 years old by now. It was a really good news to me that he has been getting along OK. We had only a few moment together without any QSO on the air but still share precious time together for the past almost half a century. I am feeling thankful to Jack and amateur ham radio itself for such an experience over the time.

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