How many of us who have been in ham radio for a while have had a break, sometime quite a long time where we were inactive.
This month I will be writing about Bob Stroup, K6UGM who started out passing the novice exam when hew w
as 16 and recently found some photos of himself and his station at that time. Can you old timers recognize the Heathkit and the National Radio equipment of that time?
Bob was born in Redding but grew up in Willows, California a little south of Red Bluff.
He became interested in radio because he recalls he was always interested in gadgets and was taking things apart to see how they worked.
During that time he also had another unusual hobby. He became an apprentice to a watchmaker in his home town and worked in that job all through college earning extra money that way. He still is a collector of old timepieces and especially ships clocks so that his house is a cacophony of clocks sounding chimes using the “Ships bell” system which I don’t understand at all.
He lost touch with amateur radio in his college years at Cal Poly (SLO), San Jose State, and University of Santa Clara law school graduating in 1963.
He likewise found starting a career and raising a young family precluded radio.
He practiced labor law in Fresno in a private practice.
When he had time other hobbies came up. He became a private pilot and had several planes and participated in treks to Mexico with a local medical organization called LEAGA flying medical clinics to that country staffed by Fresno doctors.
He became fascinated with sailing and berthed a boat in the bay area. That was his return to the hobby.
He realized that there was a great place for amateur radio on long trips and got his technician then general then extra license at the San Francisco office of the FCC when the code requirement was dropped. He discovered to his delight that his old call was available and he applied for it as a vanity call.
His favorite aspect of ham radio is collecting radio memorabilia and has an enormous collection of telegraph keys, especially shipboard keys from the WWII era. He also collects Heathkit ham radio and electronic test equipment As you can imagine he spends a lot of time on eBay.
Unfortunately, a medical problem, a stroke about twelve years ago limited his professional practice, and his other more daring hobbies including watch repair, but did not limit his collecting passion.
You can hear Bob on local repeaters and HF. His other regular ham activity is the Thursday luncheon at the Silver Dollar Hofbrau.
He has two grown daughters and as of Valentine’s day this year, a grandson, his first.
By: Joe Capell, W0PJD