Chapter 53 - Englewood, Flordia
Chartered March 19, 1971
> Hi Jack,
> I just received an email from Chuck that contains a little Chapter 53 history.
> He found a copy of an award for: "President Emeritus, Chapter #53" for Frank Lester dated 4/3/1977.
The masthead for The Suncoaster, the monthly newsletter I prepare for Chapter 53, shows Frank-W4AMJ as President Emeritus. I had no idea that the title was given to him 33 years ago!!
Back in '77, I was W4LCL over in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I was still two years shy of 25 years as a ham, so it wasn't until a couple years later that I joined QCWA and attended the, now defunct, Everglades Chapter (I'm sure that was the correct name) lunches. Dave Talley, one of the QCWA originators I believe, was always in attendance over there.
I met Frank Lester around 1997. He and Sally had a nice house on a saltwater canal about 500' in from Lemon Bay here in Englewood, Fla. There was another saltwater canal behind the properties across the street from them, so he had an excellent saltwater location for chasing DX. I don't know how he knew where I was, or who I was, but one morning he was super kind to me. We were both calling a station in Sri Lanka. Frank's "saltwater antenna" at 40' was outdoing my beam at 80' (I'm about 1.5 miles inland from Lemon Bay and the Gulf). Frank worked the Sri Lankan, and then told him, "There's a local fellow calling you--would you listen for him?" He did, and I worked Sri Lanka for the first time from this QTH. I looked up Frank in the call book and then in the telephone book, and gave him a call to let him know that I appreciated his kindness. That was the beginning of our acquaintance.
Frank didn't make too many Chapter 53 lunches during his later years, and they sold that "DX" property and moved into an assisted living facility in Venice, Fla. He kept in touch, however. After he died, Sally donated his IC-746PRO to our Tamiami ARC, with the proviso that it be used and not sold off. Our property manager asked me to keep it for the club, and I started using it on 6 meters last year. I don't know what became of Sally, as the last time we sent her a Christmas card it was returned.
A little more about Frank Lester-W4AMJ. 73, Jack Sproat-W4JS