Guest Post: AE5JU – I Never Knew the Guy

I’d asked my friend Paul AE5JU if I could share some of his ham experiences, and he’d has graciously agreed.

Paul AE5JU went from a SWL to Amateur Extra in a single test session, and has kept a-going!

Here is a recent recounting of being recognized as a Ham:

I’ve had my picture in the paper several times lately due to various ham activities. Last week I was voted in as Vice President of the ham club and there was a picture of us, the new officers, in the local paper, as well as one of me “demonstrating” a radio. But that’s not what this email is about.

Being a small town, everyone knows when your photo has been in the paper. Went to Electronics Corner to pick up one of those little tools to remove pins from Molex power plugs. One salesman says loudly to the other so I’d notice, “There’s that guy that was in the paper again.” “Well, a picture in the paper is better than in the Post Office.” “Yeah, charge him extra.”


Then I went to the bank to make some deposits and the branch manager stepped out of his office and stopped me on the way out.

“I’ve been watching for you to come in.”

Uh-oh, I thought…

“You’re a ham, right?”

“Why, yes, I am.”

“I saw your picture in the paper again yesterday. My Dad was a ham…”

And he told me about his Dad.

His Dad had wanted to be a ham for some years, since a teenager, but kept putting it off… “when I’m older and have a job.” “When I get out of school and have time.” “When I get these kids raised.” “When I retire”, etc.

Back when his Dad was in his mid 50’s his brother had a heart attack and died. He realized that these things happen suddenly and if he was going to enjoy the things he wanted to do in life, he’d better do them now. So, he studied and got licensed. He said his Dad got cancer shortly after retiring at 65, and passed away a few years later. Even so, he still had almost 15 years of being a ham.

He told me, “The last few years he set up his radio so that he could sit in his easy chair. He had a mic boom that came across in front of him, voice activated, so when he spoke it transmitted…”

And he told me about being a teenager, his Dad had mobile equipment, they had just begun to set up repeaters. People would be amazed when they received telephone calls he made from his car.

And he went on to tell me about driving his Dad to hamfests in New Orleans, or just trips to other places. He drove so his Dad could be on the air the whole way. He’d drop his dad off at hamfests, he’d go find things to do, and pick him up later, his Dad talking on the radio the whole way home. Then running in the house and continuing on the more powerful radio and antenna up on the tower.

Well, all that just from getting my picture in the paper.

Well, it just put a smile on my face. I’m still smiling, and I didn’t even know the guy.


Great story, and a reminder that we all are ambassadors for our hobby!

Thank you Paul AE5JU and,



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