Recently, I have had a couple of good ragchews with Kemp K7UQH on 20m. Even though his tribander was fixed, due to the rotator problem, to the east off to JA at only 6m of height, his signal was coming here very nicely.
Our topics always go back to the good old days in '60s when we spent one of the most brilliant days of ham radio. We have not had such a high tech radio as modern gears but have lived in the age when ham radio was more vivid and appealing to us young boys.
Kemp and I used to be on the great round table on 40m hosted by Ed K6NB and Trevor VK2NS as I have frequently mentioned in this blog. We shared old timer friends at that time. I guess we were the only hams still alive in that group. Sadly, most of the old timers have gone silent key for now. K6NB, W7ENG, VK2NS, VK2DO, K6PA, KL7CEX or KH6EFW and so forth. I told Kemp to write an article of that round table. He seemed a kind of reluctant to do that. For he has lost some of his memories. I should find out the old log in '60s and try to share the memories with him. It is too regrettable that such a memory of an event on the air is eternally missed. It was a really good old days.
Kemp told me SOWP had gone away for now. In the old days, the most good CW operators belonged to this club. As you know, it was composed of those hams with professional radio operator in their career. They were of course very excellent CW operators. And they enjoyed ragchewing as if they shared own lives together. They scarecely competed in such as DXing or contesting. Their way of enjoyment was oriented to the other way than quantitative competiton. I guess their enjpoyment was fairly qualitative, even if they should not have been aware of that. They were enjoying ragchewing all the time. And they were open minded to the new comers like me, too. Ed K6NB, who was the main person in the round table, used to be a member of SOWP.
I found SOWP was "merged into" another club named CHRS, another club for old days radio communication. It was a sad news to me but a reality. It means there were much less ex R/O in the field of ham radio for now. Even in '60s, those SOWP guys were always over 50 years of age. No wonder there were much less members active or alive at present. Kemp must belong to one of the youngest hams with the past history of R/O.
So where is the spirit of SOWP heading to? Is it gone away into the past history? I am sure the spirit has something essential in ham radio. Not just a 599 QSL game but some enjoyment to share our lives together. When it disappears in the ham radio, so does the ham radio itself, I believe.