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Saturday, May 17, 2008

LB Cebik, WN4RNL, and the "Ham Spirit"

As all of you probably know, LB Cebik, esteemed antenna expert and mentor, recently passed away. This morning I happened to find his entry on the wonderful "Novice History" web site:

Note what LB says about "the ham spirit."

L.B. Cebik, W4RNL (WN4RNL, 1954)
I was licensed in 1954 as both a Novice and a Tech, since
then you could take both exams in one session and
privileges were separate. (W1APS/WN1APS)I got on
the air for the first time with a ham a couple of blocks away,
an fine old timer.

However, I got key fright half way through. My dad,
James S. (Jim) Cebik, came to my rescue and finished
the contact, although he had not touched a key in
over 20 years.

Jim Cebik had been 1ATG and later W1BUK in the late
1920s and early 1930s (and wrote a few articles on
his experiments). He gave up amateur radio
when he married in the depression years. Relative
parts costs were high, and family came first. In fact,
he rarely mentioned amateur radio, and my
entry was independent via some high school
comrads and a cousin. But he had not forgotten
his CW or key skills and saved me from
embarrassment on that first day. I returned the favor
by renewing his interest in amateur radio
and about 1964, he was relicensed and obtained
his old W1BUK call, which he used for very many
years. He died in 2002 in his high 90s.

So my Dad was a part of my Novice beginning
in amateur radio, and I strove to send CW with
a straight key so that one could not tell it from
a keyer.

He remains a strong part of my effort. He noted
that the ham spirit is to give, if needed, the shirt
off one's back to a fellow ham and to expect--not
its return--but rather that it be passed on to the
next ham who needs it.
That is the spirit of my web site.

My Novice days were a joy, and I have been
pleased to carry my father's amateur radio days
into everything that I do.

Hope this is useful.

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