In this season, I often recall Prose W4BW, who used to be active on 40m around our sunset. He often gave me a call. Not a long ragchew but always memorable QSOs with him. He ran a KW with 3 element Yagi. Always remarkable signal when the band was opening. He used to send me a photo which showed him sitting on an elevator for the tower. He was smiling there with a glass of whisky on his hand. It was a simple swing like thing lifted by a rope. He told me he had been maintaining the beam on that elevator by himself. He seemed to have enjoyed his retirement with his wife Ellanie.
I liked his fist very much. Fairly slow CW. Appropriate spacing between words. Beautifully perfect to CW ears. I could not express what I felt for his keying but praised it as "manly CW", which he laughed at first but still enjoyed very much. It was only for several years around 1990 when we could hear his manly CW from Tallahassee Fl. It seemed he became inactive on the radio when he lost his wife.
I got the orbituary for him in QCWA web site in early 2000s. Having lost his wife, he has moved to a nursing facility in NY where his family lived. He could operate radio until the end of his life, even though the set up was a limited one. I have never heard him since he moved there. But this news relieved me a little bit. For he could spend his last years near to his family and operate radio there as well.
I surely miss Prose, a real gentle man as well as a perfect CW operator. When I get very few takers for my CQ around our sunset here, I feel the good time lasts only for limited span in our lives. Whenever recalling of Prose, I feel I should make any QSO as the very last one for me. Not a routine one but the very last one. I won't intend to be long faced too much. But it is a reality. Enjoying it as the last one in my life, I could find it not replaceable to anything.
The only regret is that there are less and less prople who enjoy true conversational QSOs like old Prose.
I still call CQ recalling old Prose around our sunset.