I am very glad to be a ham. Through amateur radio I have met many fine people and have been able to assist when they needed help in emergencies.
I got started in ham radio through an Elmer, the way many people do. An Elmer is a ham who helps someone else to become a ham. My Elmer also helped me build simple electronic equipment by teaching me to solder wires together and to read a plan, called a circuit diagram, used in building electronic equipment. You may know the person who was my Elmer. His name is Phil Temples, and his callsign is K9HI. He helped me to earn my callsign, which was WB9EAY. When I first earned my license, my callsign was WD9ERI. That was a long time ago.
My first radio contact was with a woman in Alaska who told me that her strawberry patch was being raided by a moose who was eating the berries. The woman shot the moose, butchered him, froze the meat so that she could eat the moose meat. I was shocked. Over the years, I have talked with many other people with customs and ideas different from mine. Through the contacts, I have learned more about how we are all similar even though we may have some different ways of believing or doing things.
Emergency service was an area where I made contributions of which I am proud. When a fire damaged the city of Lynn, Massachusetts, I helped provide emergency communications. The same was true when the phone company burned down in Marshfield, Massachusetts. During a big blizzard in Indiana, I helped staff a ham base station used to communicate with the four wheel drive vehicles that were used to bring doctors and nurses to hospitals. Those vehicles were the only ones that could manage in the high snow. I rode in one where we went over snow drifts that were several feet high!
When a hurricane threatened an island off the coast of North Carolina, I helped convey atmospheric information from a NOAA weather station located there to other weather stations on the mainland. This helped the weather station staff on the mainland to predict where the hurricane would travel, so that they could warn people living in the danger area who needed to evacuate.
Ham radio has given me many opportunities. I have been able to learn, to help people, and to have fun communicating with other hams in many nations. Most importantly, ham radio also connects me to wonderful people like Ms. LaRoche and the 21 students who are wonderful hosts in their classroom. (I remember meeting you all and seeing your room, your shack, and the fish, butterflies, hermit crabs and birds who share the room with you!) I offer you congratulations on finishing your school year, and hope your futures will be filled with joy and service.
©Natasha Bochkov, M.C.S., Martin Bayes, Ph.D., and Donna LaRoche, M.Ed
Our class friend, Dr. Cohen, found this baby bird outside one morning while walking to work. She gently picked it up and brought it home because it was very ill and she knew that it needed help. Dr. Cohen took very good care of the bird and day by day it grew stronger. One day, after it had become strong and healthy again, it flew away.
Meet Dr. B. Ariel Cohen