5/15/2013

Bill N4AR

There have been a number of unforgettable friends in each era of my ham life. Around 1990, Bill, N4AR, was such a guy. Those days, I devoted myself to DXing and contesting in addition to ragchewing for my main interest. Bill was active both in DXing and ragchewing as well. We often met on 40m an hour or two after sunset in our time. His signal was one of the loudest ones from his area. Chatting with me for a while, he always said he should go for the round in the ward. Yes, he has been a cardiologist since '70s, I guess. My favorite phrase to him in such a case was that I wished him peace for the inpatients.

As I have written about it somewhere else, I have worked him as K4GSU/8 in contests in '60s. He was a med student at Johns Hopkins those days, so far as I heard from him later while I was a student in my teenage without any idea to be a doctor. No ragchews at that time but several contest QSOs in such as AA contests. When I came back on the air after a hiatus for my med student days and residency etc, I ran across with him on 40m. Since we have shared the same kind of interests in ham radio as well as the same profession, even though he had been much more experienced in both fields, it won't take us so long time before becoming good friends each other.

For the past decade or a bit longer, he has been too busy at his new hobby, riding horses, which prevented him from operating radio like before. He must has been more responsible for his duty at the work as well. I have had contacts with him once a few years, mostly, from his summer home in Michigan. I was pleased to know he had been doing OK.

Last night, I was called by him on 20m CW. He told me he had finally decided to retire by the end of Sept this year. He said it was enough for him to have a phone call from ER at night. Thinking of how much he has dedicated himself to the patients in medical services for the past decades, I would say he has done very fine as a doctor. He also said it was not easy for him to tell his patients about his retirement. I totally understood what he had felt for them. The patients are so important as family members for us. I had a kind of ambivalence to say good by to them as I wrote here. It was not easy in fact. But it is the time for him to go forward for now. He has been fixing the anntenas and towers by himself. He is 73 years young! The antennas were destroyed by an ice storm some time ago. He told me that he would put up 3el for 40m at the height of 160ft again soon! It does never seem to be a work for him alone! He added, if he needed any help, his son aged 30 years now would help him.

Aki, JA5DQH, used to visit him in '80s. He has sent me several fine pictures of himself and the shack/antenna farm those days. If I remeber it right, the number of the towers at that time was 10! I asked Bill how many towers he had now. He has only 4 right now. He was smiling telling me he  took away 6 of the towers to build the horse riding ground. So, as I answered to him, only 40% of his mind is occupied by ham radio while 60% might go for a couple of horses he loved now.

In the end of the QSO, I wished him very pleasant and healthy retirement to come. It won't take so long before we could hear his big signal on 40m early in our evening.

Around 1990, he had such antennas as this. Stacked 4 el for 20m and 6 el for 10 and 15 m at the top of each tower.

 
 

He used to use Drake C line in '80s. But by this time, he has changed them to Tentec. An Alpha amp is seen on the rack. The caption says it was 1991. He must be around51 years of age, most experienced in medical duties. I used to ask him on the air how to prescribe digitalis for my mother those days since I was not good at it as a pediatrician. He was kind enough to let me know about it.
 

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