I love a "straight key" and use my "100" year old Bunnell key on most of my CW contacts. It was given to me "free" (postage paid) by an anonymous ham from an estate collection. I consider it priceless and I will pass it along to another deserving ham in my very senior years.
The "Straight Key Century Club" is celebrating their 4th anniversary this month with operators transmitting from all 10 zones. Sad to say, I wasn't aware of it, but it seems every day I hear the special K3Y call on the bands. (this has been a very difficult month because my son in law had a heart attack at the age of 33).
Yesterday evening around sunset (that magic hour of ham radio) I worked an additional 2 stations in the club event. This makes 5 out of a possible 10 that I've worked now with QRP power and a simple indoor antenna.
Yesterday evening, my first was the K3Y/7 station in Washington State and then, almost immediately afterwards, I worked N6WK in Santa Ana California. Gordon (N6WK) is the #6 operator and also one of the founders of the SKCC Club. (K3Y/6)
He holds the SKCC # 3T.
I haven't been making a conscious effort to work these stations. But when I hear those special 1x1 calls, they just seem to shout at me on the air. In the last few weeks I've worked the California, Washington, New York, Wisconsin, and Virginia stations. It's surprised me.
My son in law had a "stint" placed in the main artery into the heart and is improving slowly but he's still very much a worry with his current health. I was called there a few days ago and worried I might have to do CPR (which would have surly killed him anyway). I was fortunately spared that option when the paramedics arrived. To look at him, he's in excellent health, in great physical shape but only 33 years old.
I'd appreciate all you guys and gals out there to keep him in your thoughts and prayers. My daughter and her husband have 5 kids to rear between them.
Up Date:...worked K3Y/1 in Rhode Island this evening. (this makes my sixth for the club).
Update...worked K3Y/8 in Reed City Michigan on 1/27/10 @ 2028z (7052 MHz)
I now only need # 3-5-0 for the certificate.