Carol J. Laferty
QCWA # 27820
Ham radio has played an important part in my life over the years. In fact, in September it will be 56 years since I received my license. My older brother Fred Fraley, W4DF (now SK), ex-AA4FF and ex-W4CHK, is the person most responsible for getting me on the air in September, 1957, at age 15. We lived on a tobacco farm near Dungannon, VA, in Scott County, a good place to string longwire antennas. Our dad, C. K. Fraley, and I took the Novice test at the same time. He received the call K4SAB (SK) and I became K4SAF. Our dad had built a homebrew rig for Fred, which he generously shared with us, along with an old Halicrafters receiver. We upgraded to a Viking Ranger and an HQ-110 not long afterwards.
I met my husband Don, K4GFY, on the radio in 1957. He was my second contact that first day I nervously called CQ after receiving my license. We celebrated our50th year of marriage in September.
The intervening years were taken up with caring for our three children, being an Air Force wife until Don's retirement from service in 1975. I was then able to complete college, and teach business and computer classes in high school for many years. Ham radio had to take a backseat. I retired in 2004 from Bath County High School in KY, but continue to teach part-time for Morehead State University in Morehead, KY. My specialty is computer applications.
Within the past 10 years I have returned to ham radio. The magic of ham radio communication I felt as a teenage girl in the mountains of southwest Virginia has not waned very much. I received my Extra Class license in 2000, just before the code requirement changed. I did not want to receive my capstone license after the requirement dropped to merely 5 wpm, which was the requirement when I was first licensed in 1957. The system of the Novice apprenticeship had served us amateurs of that era too well to advance in licensing at such a low CW level! Most of us back then could copy 20-25 wpm at the end of our Novice year.
My husband and I have 'His' and 'Her' radio shacks now. Maybe that's the secret to longevity of a two-ham marriage. His shack boasts of much more state-of-the art radios, peripherals, and antennas. I have a Ten Tec Omni V, which serves me well as primarily a CW op.
I am a member of YLRL, SKCC, QCWA, and FISTS. Other interests include music, especially bluegrass, and family genealogy. My SKCC No. is 699; FISTS is 7503. In YLRL I am the Receiving Treasurer for the US & Canada. Hope to see you on the bands sometime.
September 30, 2014