As I was not able to attend the meeting (DARN!) Hal, W8HC, has authored the following description of the affair and provided the photos. THANKS, Hal!
Saturday was a wonderful day to be a member of WVDXA especially if you were in attendance at the meeting held at the impressive countryside QTH of Blair, W8KC, and Margaret Wright.
Some 25 WVDXA members and guests were on hand for delicious gourmet food, DX fellowship and informative presentations. I daresay our WVDXA meetings would rival any DX Club’s!
Bob Anthony, W8OM, (aka Papa November) took the ride up I-79 with me to Blair’s historic Jane Lew home which had once belonged to Howard Mason Gore (October 12, 1877 – June 20, 1947). Gore served as 17th Governor of West Virginia from 1925 to 1929 and he previously served as the 8th Secretary of Agriculture from 1924 to 1925, during the administration of President Calvin Coolidge.
We were warmly greeted by our gracious host Blair, and as soon as Bob and I entered the house, the mouth-watering aroma of Margaret’s lasagna baking in the oven immediately caught our attention.
Other members were soon to arrive and we were treated to a pre-dinner “Show and Tell” which included a tour of Blair’s incredible downstairs hamshack. Here we were introduced to his “Children.” Well sort of… there was “Big Dawg,” “The Beast,” “Ole Yellar,” and “The Boss” some of the best looking homebrew amplifiers you would find anywhere! Blair is an artisan when it comes to building amps and he has quite an awesome collection of classic Drake gear too! Sorry about the drooling problem in your shack Blair!
Dinner was served and believe you me, the lasagna tasted every bit as good as it smelled. There were salads and other great side dishes, garlic bread and meatballs… just an incredible spread. Miraculously, everyone still found room for dessert, an array which included some of WV8RC’s spectacular home made pies and other assorted confections brought by the some of the guys. If anyone left the Wright house hungry, it was his own fault!
Once the meal concluded, it was time for the business portion of the WVDXA meeting.
Garry Ritchie, W8OI, was recognized for his recent award of #1 DXCC Honor Roll and proudly attended the meeting sporting his shiny new #1 HR pin.
A treasurer’s report was given with current balance of $295 followed by the “hat being passed” and another $263 being contributed to the “cause.”
The membership then voted to donate $100 to ClubLog as we have done in the past.
With the “business” out of the way it was time for the presentations. Blair started things off with a show-and-tell that featured the K4AVU crimping tool used for easily installing the pesky PL-259 connectors. He also demonstrated how to use DX Engineering’s coax cable stripping tool. Both of these items are “must haves” if you are looking for an “easier” way to install coax connectors.
We were treated to a special WVDXA guest with the attendance of Wal Eckles, W8LRL. Most of you already know that Wal is the “Top Dawg” on Top Band and is the only DXer in the world…. Yes, I said “World”… who has DXCC Honor Roll status ONLY with countries worked on 160-meters. In fact, with deletes, Wal has worked a total of 342 entities on top band! So it was a real privilege to hear Wal’s presentation as he gave us a great biographical account of his amateur/DX/160m career that has placed him at the pinnacle of top band DXing.
Wal shared many photos and QSLs and has compiled quite a documentary that captures not only the W8LRL story but also chronicles some 160m “history” of top band operations that includes his correspondence and consultation with Mr. Top Band himself, Stew Perry, W1BB (SK).
For those of us who have operated 160m or even attained DXCC on top band, we can appreciate the effort, patience and antenna work that would go in to attaining 342 countries on this difficult band!
We were truly honored to have W8LRL in our midst! [Ed. Note: Click on any photo to see a larger image.]
Following the K5P presentation, we adjourned and there were a few of us who made a final pass by the dessert tray before our group photo session.
It was indeed a great meeting with WV’s finest DXers… proud to be a WVDXA member and have such great company.
The photo below is Blair, W8KC, showing us his shack and a couple of his awesome home brewed amps.
|Group Photo - May 2016 WVDXA Meeting|