Bob N6EA

I have accidentally read about a novel by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It must be a sister work of the famous novel, Little house in the Prairie. A TV program of that story has hit the air around 1980. We used to watch it with children at the dorm house of the med school hospital.

It has brought me back to a memory of Bob Schmidt, N6EA, who had gone silent key almost 20 years ago. I have known him on the air in late '80s. He was an avid contester as well as a ragchewer. He had worked as an engineer at Varian or something in the Bay area. An operator typical for the good old days. We used to talk a lot around when I joined FOC in 1988. His elegant keying is still vividly alive in my memory. Beautiful and smooth. While living in the Bay area, he had known Eric W6DU well possibly through his job and ham radio. Bob went up to Sonora when he retired. Both of them have kept schedule on 20m every morning. Of course, on CW.

In 1987, possibly, I had a chance to visit Bob in Sonora. It was the 2nd trip to the US for me. even though I was expecting to visit there with my wife, her pregnancy has prevented her from going for this trip with me. In stead, Hide, JH0FBH, went for this trip around the Bay area and Santa Barbara.

Inland near to the mountain area, there spreaded hills in Sonora. We have managed to reach Bob's home on a rental car. Bob and his wife Phyllis have welcomed us there. A quiet place for retired people. Phyllis has served nice lunch for us, which we took in the terrace. Sunray filtering through trees was shining on us. A peaceful and wonderful time.

Bob was a very kind gentleman. When talking to us, he has not stopped smiling. Phyllis looked charming and gentle. Both of them have treated us as close friends for them even though it was really the very first meeting for each other. I could not forget seeing them at their home that time. Bob used to come to see me at W6DU later on when I visited the Bay area a few years later.

Sadly enough, he has gone silent key around 2000. I have never kept in touch with Phyllis. I suspect she has also passed away by now. Such good people are going away from the earth so soon. I sure miss them. It is the way, however, things go on. There will be less and less people who rememer of Bob and Phyllis. The same thing will happen to me in some time. I don't feel sad for that. I have already lived a meaningful life. The only thing I should do is to try to do in my way whatever I could in order to leave a better world. That may be the same way Bob and Phyllis have done for us.

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