Ben White Memorial Net
An Historical Sampler
Compiled and edited by KA5NNG and WD8DIN
Published by W4KFR
Introduction: What follows is really more a compilation of existing material than a newly-written history.
W3KOD, W8IQ, WA4SRD, W4DYW and KA8WNO
all contributed to the source material consisting mostly of old newsletters,
but also including some private correspondence.
The sampler is divided into seven parts; thus:
I. OVERVIEW OF HBN, HBSN, MW
II. BEN WHITE (W4PL)
III. EV BATTEY (W4IA)
IV. NET PROCEDURES AND FREQUENCIES, ETC.
V. AWARDS AND EVENTS
VII. ROOA CERTIFICATES & MASCOT DRAWINGS
OVERVIEW OF HBN, HBSN, MW
The Hit and Bounce net is said to be the oldest traffic net extant still operating under the same name. Its origins go back to 1938, when it was started by Ben White (W4PL) as an offshoot of the Hit & Bounce Trunk Lines.
In a biographical profile of Ben White, written by Ev Battey (W4IA), it was explained that the name "Hit & Bounce" was an indication of Ben's traffic concepts -- hit and bounce, in and right out. Ben explained the purpose of the HBN in a short article which appeared in 1956 (partial quote): "This net was dedicated to the idea that there were enough traffic men and gals who would call in for a morning, if they could call, send, and move on; also, that there were shut-ins, retired hams, housewives, who would like to operate in the mornings when QRM was light and conditions generally better. It has, over the years, panned out. This is the oldest net with a record of continuous existence under the same name."
The Traffic Hounds Morning Watch net was founded by Ev Battey (W4IA) in January, 1956, with the stated purpose: "...to provide a rallying point for those looking for a morning traffic outlet and for those who like to handle traffic without QRM."
The first newsletter of the Morning Watch net appeared in February 1956, and from that very first issue exhibited the "canine motif". In addition to the mascot (later to be named Rouser) "ARFing" in the upper corner of the page, the masthead referred to the two net control stations (W4IA and W4PL) as "watchdogs", gave the "Rallying Cry" as ARF, and the "Watch Call" of CQ TFC. Participating stations (QNIs) were listed in separate "Kennels" with frequent check-ins in Kennel #1, less frequent check-ins in Kennel #2, etc.. The net manager, W4IA, who was also editor of the newsletter was referred to as the "Keeper of the Kennels".
The HBN and MW nets were complementary of, rather than competitive with, each other, and a number of stations were active on both, providing liaison between them. Upon the death of Ben White in January 1963, it was suggested by Jack Zuzula, K2GWN, that the HBN and MW groups consider some way to perpetuate Ben's memory. Accordingly, W4IA conducted a survey of 58 members of the two groups, suggesting that the two nets be formed into a kind of alliance or confederation, and be designated "The W4PL Memorial Traffic Nets". It was also suggested that the two nets share a common newsletter, to be given a new name -either The Traffic Hound or The Traffic Call.
The March 1963 newsletter, appearing for the first time under the new name of Traffic Call, announced approval by the polled members of the proposed alliance. The following description of the new arrangement was given by W4IA: "The Memorial Nets represent an alliance between the HBN and MW, not a consolidation. Each net will retain complete autonomy and will continue with its own name, manager, procedures, schedules, etc.. Our bulletin, however, becomes the bulletin of the Memorial Nets rather than of MW alone. News of both MW and HBN will be included. Accordingly, the bulletin name has been changed to Traffic Call as Watchwords was deemed to be too closely aligned with the Morning Watch."
From the available information, it appears that the HBN and MW nets never actually merged into a single net. Instead, they continued their "allied" existence, each under its own manager until 1969, when MW ceased. HBN continued on, and the canine motif that originated with the MW has become an integral part of the HBN.
The HBSN had its first session on January 8, 1973. There were only six check-ins and no traffic. By the end of 1973 however, the slow net showed 1428 check-ins to 192 sessions and had handled 855 messages.
The first HBSN newsletter was named "HBSN Report", and was dated "Winter 1973" although it was evidently published around March 1973 since it contained net statistics for January and February of 1973.
That first newsletter gave the purposes of the (then) new net:
1) Foster and encourage interest in CW traffic handling.
2) Provide a reliable morning outlet for traffic at slow/medium speed.
3) Provide a morning training opportunity in CW traffic handling.
4) Introduce newcomers to the Hit & Bounce nets.
Kurt Meyers, W8IQ, who was then W8IBX, was the manager of HBSN and also publisher/editor of the newsletter.
1963-1970 W8DAE Cliff Erickson
1970-1973 W4EVN Hank Haney
1973-1976 W2OE Walt Russell
1976-1976 WA1FCM Bill Mann
1976-1978 W2EC Ferd Thiede
1978-1986 K2GWN Jack Zuzula
1986-1988* W4DJ Al Weed
1989-1998 NJ4L Gale Eason*
*W4DJ formally resigned in January 1989 and
NJ4L assumed management in August 1988 until his death in July 1998.
1998-2008 WD8DIN Char "Sis" Berry
2008-2010 K3RC Bob Johnson
2010- W2EAG Mark Rappaport
1958-1961 K2GWN Jack Zuzula
1961-1963 W4IA Ev Battey
1963-1967 W4RHA Bill Ready
1967-1969 W4IA Ev Battey
HBSN Managers: 1973-1976 W8IBX Kurt Meyers (founder) (Now W8IQ)
1976-1980 WB8TRK Bill Dickson
1980-1994 WB3GZU George Aranow
1994- W3KOD Harry Thomas
WD8DHC Mike Fox
VE3GNA Glenn Killam
2010 - present W2EAG
New Certificate 2015
BENTON (BEN) WHITE, W4PL
August 18, 1884 - January 26, 1963
Ben White was first licensed when in his forties. Merrill Parker, W4BBT, said that it was in the spring or early summer of 1932, about six months after he received his own license.
Ben had been an engineer, and later an attorney, practicing civil law in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1928, he retired from the practice of law, built a new home on the ancestral farm located about 10 miles from Chattanooga, and a couple of years later became a ham. According to Jack, K2GWN, he later called his place "Sea Kew Acres", and had a sign on the front gate that read : "Hams welcome, but if you have a phone rig in your car take it out before entering...". Jack says he thinks Ben was only kidding. Ben's pro-CW outlook was illustrated by his response to an interview question about his "most embarrassing moment as a ham":...the time that two out of town hams came to see me. The family pooch bit the CW ham and let the phone ham alone!"
In an article that he wrote in 1958, under the title "Traffic Handling -- Then and Now", Ben told a little about the early years of traffic handling: "...a message was more of a novelty that anything else, addressees were amazed that such a thing could be done, and few examined the date with a critical eye.
Schedules were haphazard, and much traffic was moved by simply calling CQ Baltimore, or CQ North."
"The first nets and trunk lines were the result of individual effort, and there was nothing systematic about it. Trunk lines preceded nets; you had a buddy in Memphis, and it turned out he contacted regularly a ham in Enid, Oklahoma, who was night man at a power sub-station. With his station located where he worked and plenty of time on his hands, this Oklahoma ham knew and worked operators to the west with consistent regularity... a trunk line came into being."
Ben's own first traffic handling experience occurred on his third QSO. Heres how he related that experience in the February 1957 newsletter: "On my third QSO after getting my ticket, I handled a piece of rush and emergency traffic...as the twig is bent so the tree is inclined A feller up in Jonesboro,Tennessee had heated words with his YL, and in a huff, and to show his independence, walked out on her and came down on a visit to Chattanooga where he had friends. Back home, in a bigger huff, and full of independence too, the gal decided to teach him a lesson by marrying another guy. Feller No. 1 had a friend in Jonesboro who was a ham, and he got on the air with a CQ Chattanooga Rush Tfc., and I was the ham he raised. (Was I nervous!!) I finally located the guy at a dance and broke the news to him landline. Any doubt I had about the bona fides of the message was set at rest........... he said,What! W-h-a-t!! W-H-A-T!!! and never bothered to hang up. For those who want a happy ending, he got back in time to make his peace, and eventually married the gal."
From that beginning, Ben quickly became an avid traffic handler, operating many hours every day. He started making BPL in the early 1930's, and in a 1957 article mentioned (almost in passing) that he had "...about 75 BPL cards tucked away in a drawer somewhere..." He also listed some of his "wallpaper": ORS, WAS, WAC, SS, RCC, A-1 Opr., 35 WPM, and various public service certificates, and went on to say that the slogan at W4PL was "QSP Anytime, Anywhere, Any Number." Its no wonder that he was known to his contemporaries as "The Dean of Traffic Handling."
Ben's station, as he described it in 1960:
"The shack that surplus built. During Uncle Sams great surplus spree I bought, for the handsome sum of $100.00 per copy, three xmtrs that would have gone on board liberty cargo vessels if the war had lasted longer. Made by Federal; CW only; xtal or built-in VFO; any frequency between 2000 and 24000 kc; pair 813's final.... Receivers are an NC-300...and a war surplus job that says on the panel Reception set R106 MK III. I guess it was made lend-lease for England and never got across. It is much like the HRO of fifteen odd years ago....antennas are a half wave flat top, with single wire feeder tapped off-center for each band used. I have 35 acres and plenty of room."
To better illustrate Ben’s perspective on traffic handling, public service, and operating procedures, here are some excerpts of his various newsletter articles:
On CW sending (1958): (Relating to the use of keyers and bugs)
"The main error that users of this key fall into, lies in adjusting the key so that the dots come at a rate of, let us say, 30/35 WPM, and the dashes at a 20 WPM speed. Some weird code can be the result. The colossal fault most common to the use of both keys is the lack of proper spacing... in extreme cases, no spacing at all. The erring op dumps a mass of dots and dashes into your lap and its up to you to sort em out and make some sense out of it."
On Break-in (1958)
"..... I do not like it and do not use it......it is quite a strain to me, speaking personally, to be sending with one half my brain, and listening with the other half to every random chirp, sound or squawk..."
On traffic handling (1960): (Responding to "Why do you handle traffic?")
"An off hand answer would be, because I like it. But in more detail it would break down about as follows:
(A) You are doing someone a service. Especially is that so where armed forces overseas personnel is concerned.
(B) You meet the best operators on the traffic nets; and they are hams with ideas and ideals like your own.
(C)There is an additional reason for me. When you get to be 75 years old there is not much left that you can do as well as a much younger man. I like to think that handling traffic is one of them"`
Advice for new traffickers (1960):
"Dont send faster that you can receive. Your opposite number assumes that you can copy at the speed you are sending. Dont forget that your spacing has more to do with making your code intelligible than the dots and dashes put together. Dont be afraid to ask for a fill or a QRS... any traffic man worth the name is glad to do either."
And finally, these two philosophical statements (1959 & 1958):
"Although amateur radio is usually referred to as a hobby, as a matter of pure law, no license is ever issued to any radio station except in the public interest, convenience, or necessity. Of all those who avail themselves of the privilege, the traffic man comes nearest to living up to his share of the bargain.. Disaster work is spectacular, and gets headlines; but amateur radios happiest contact with John Q Public is the steady day in and day out handling of messages ----- free gratis, for nothing, on the house and with the compliments of amateur radio." "We are building up for amateur radio an immense backlog of good will; and for those who take their obligations seriously, we are operating our stations in the public interest, convenience and necessity."
An example of Ben's public service that he called "the best job I ever did" occurred in 1949. A big ice and sleet storm had hit the midwest hard. Ben had been keeping a schedule with P. A. (Mac) McCreery of Columbia, Missouri, and together with a third station (W4BAQ) they offered their services to the Western Union Telegraph. The storm had knocked down all the wires, and Columbia had been cut off from the outside world. Western Union promptly accepted their offer. Here is Ben's own description of the "job":
"For six days these three stations handled every message that went out from Columbia. Beginning about 8:00 AM I would take five and stop to telephone them to the local office of the Western Union, where they were put on the wires. When I stopped to phone, W4BAQ in Memphis stepped up for his five –while he was phoning, I took another five, and so it went till around 8:00 PM when skip set in".
Ben suffered a heart attack in September, 1962, and was QRT from the end of that month until his death the following January. That he was a "traffic man" up to the very end is evident from a note he sent to (then) Keeper of the Kennels, W4IA, around Christmas-time, 1962 (in part):
"As a form of indoor amusement the Doc classes step-climbing several degrees lower that Medicare. Hence am off the air and can only hope for a later dispensation. Several of the old-timers here have offered to bring the shack downstairs, but you know what a job that would be. I better just be patient --- or as patient as I can. I am not even listening --it is not wise for an old soak to pause at the tavern door and look inside..."
Ben's old call (W4PL) is now held by the Chattanooga Old Timers A R Society. As mentioned elsewhere, the call was activated for the second "Ben White Day" in January, 1988, with "Hack" Van Hooser (K4KP) operating and utilizing Ben's old bug which Hack inherited from Ben.
(Ev) L. Battey
May 30, 1909 - June, 1977
Ev Battey was the founder and guiding light of the Traffic Hounds Morning Watch net, and for many years net manager as well as editor of the nets newsletter, alternating those functions with K2GWN and W4RHA when his employment took him out of the country. Much of the material that appeared in the newsletters was written by Ev ---articles dealing with the different aspects of traffic handling, correct net and operating procedures, and various other subjects.
Since there was little in the way of biographical information available, I thought that the best approach would be to provide some excerpts from a short autobiography he wrote for the January 1957 newsletter, and also a few comments about the man that K2GWN wrote in 1959.
"Everett L. Battey (W4IA) was born in Spencer, Massachusetts on May 30, 1909. Initial ham license was received in September, 1925. Operation was as W1UE in Massachusetts and Connecticut until 1947, when move to Virginia brought W4IA."
"W4IA wallpaper: ORS, RM, WAS (2-letter calls), RCC, OTC, QCWA, A-1 Opr., DXCC (130 countries worked, 116 confirmed), and CP-35. Latest target is YLCC with 101 worked, (96 confirmed) to date. Past activities include service as ARRL Director, Roanoke Division and SCM/RM Eastern Massachusetts, as well as over 12 years at ARRL Headquarters as Asst. Communications Manager."
"Equipment at W4IA is a Viking II with Viking VFO and Matchbox, 75A3 receiver, Eldico electronic key, BC-221J frequency meter, and two 80-meter Zepps."
From K2GWN: "W4IA is a superb operator, 100% gentleman, a devoted trafficker, a patient, completely efficient NCS, net manager and editor.
NET PROCEDURES, FREQUENCIES, ETC..
Net operating procedures have varied considerably over the years. In the October 1956 issue of the Morning Watch newsletter, Ben White wrote this description of the H&B net operating procedures:
"A station is free to check in at the most convenient time. W4PL in Tenn., W5ZY in Texas, and W0LOD in western Nebraska go on at approximately 0700 EST and each calls QRZ TFC?. We separate by about 3 kc. With three stations so separated geographically, we can catch anyone from coast to coast."
Hit & Bounce net continued in this mode until 1963, when it changed over to a single NCS operating on one frequency (then 7140 Khz.)
When the Novice sub-band on 40 meters was reallocated to 7100-7150 Khz, the H&B net moved from 7140 KHz to 7070 KHz to escape the QRM. The (then new) slow net, HBSN, remained on 7140 KHz until late 1974, when it adopted a split frequency operation similar to what the MW net had, and operated the first half hour on 3714 KHz and then moved to 7140 KHz for the remainder of the session. HBSN ultimately settled on 3714 KHz (with, for a time, an alternate frequency of 7114 at the discretion of the NCS). When Canadian amateurs were allowed to use SSB from 7050 KHz and up, the H&B made another change in frequency down to 7040 KHz. Finally, one last move was made in 1994 to our present 7042 KHz.
The Morning Watch net operated with a single NCS, who would put out the call CQ TFC", followed by "ARF K". The "ARF" being used in place of the usual "QNI". MW also used a selective call-up (QNA) as early as 1957. The net had originally operated on a kind of "free-for-all" check-in procedure, but as the net grew in size that became unwieldy and so a trial of QNA by call area was initiated in March 1957 (At the suggestion of K2MMM). The call-up by individual call areas proved to be overly time consuming, so the procedure was modified to a call-up by paired areas, (i.e., W1/W2, then W3/W4, etc..) A poll of the net membership resulted in unanimous support for the paired call area procedure. A couple of months later, an additional "random" check-in period was established during the fifteen minutes before the net actually commenced.
Morning Watch began operation on 3540 KHz, and originally only ran Mondays through Fridays. After about two months of operation, the net moved up to 40 meters on 7080 KHz, where it remained until early 1961. About the same time as the move to 40 meters, the net began operation on Saturdays in addition to weekdays. Later on, due to poor propagation conditions on 40 meters, a number of experiments were tried to determine if the net should move back to 80 meters or remain on 40 meters. Finally, the net settled on a split type of operation, with the first half hour on 3540 KHz, and then the remainder of the session on 7080 KHz. Sunday operations were added in early 1963, but in the form of a "free net" (i.e., with no NCS). The split frequency type arrangement was continued up to around mid 1964. The newsletter for Jun/Jul/Aug 1966 showed just the 3540 KHz frequency.
At least three unique "Q" signals were created for use on the HBN.
The first one, dating from 1965, was QWW. The signal was defined as "I want words with ."
Two additional signals were defined by W8IBX (now W8IQ) in 1974. They were QPC and QDS:
QPC - "Put out several calls and report back to me."
QPC? - "Shall I put out several calls and report back to you?"
QDS - "Direct stations (callsign) and (callsign) to move (up/down) and
QDS? - "Shall I direct stations (callsign) and (callsign) to move (up/down)
and pass traffic?"
AWARDS AND EVENTS
Royal Order of Arfers
The first mention of the ROOA appeared in the Morning Watch newsletter for April of 1957. The criteria for membership in ROOA was that a station had to have reported into the MW on at least ten days in each of three separate months. For those who could only report in on weekends, the requirement was four check-ins during each of four separate months.
The original ROOA certificate was designed and drawn by QST cartoonist "Gil" Gildersleeve (W1CJD). The May 1957 newsletter listed the calls of the first thirty recipients of the new ROOA certificate, including K2GWN and W0ECE. Five of the thirty were "Honorary Members", among whom were W1CJD, certificate designer, and K2EQP who had suggested the name Rouser for the net mascot.
ROOA membership grew to 111 members by January of 1961, and reached 137 by February, 1963.
After K2GWN took over management of the HBN in late 1978, the ROOA made a new start. (Jack told me in a letter that most of the original ROOA had gone SK, hence the restart.) The February 1979 newsletter listed 30 members in the restarted ROOA. Jack also made up a new ROOA certificate which is the one we still use now. By September 1984, ROOA membership had reached 74. Currently, the ROOA has 124 members.
Another of Jack’s innovations is the ROOA patch, awarded to the HBN station having the most QNI over the course of a full year. Presently it is held by Harry, W3KOD, who received it in January 1995. It was previously held by Gale NJ4L, from April 1988 to January 1995.
BEN WHITE DAY
This was a surprise on-the-air birthday party for Ben White (W4PL) on the occasion of his 73rd birthday in 1957. It was held on August 17, 1957 (Ben's actual birthday was the 18th, but the Morning Watch didn't meet on that day since it was a Sunday and the net operated Monday through Saturday then.) A special announcement had been sent to the net members along with the August newsletter announcing the party. The idea was for each station to originate a birthday greeting message to W4PL. Stations were asked to not bring any normal traffic to that session so that the entire session could be devoted to the W4PL traffic. The party proved to be a success. Quoting from the September 1957 newsletter which summarized the event:
"...Ben received 63 birthday message from 22 states, D.C., Alaska, Quebec, and Ontario.....the grand QNI for August 17 (was) fifty-two stations, and the overall net session (ran) 4 hours and 15 minutes...".
Thirty years later, Kurt, W8IQ, proposed a second "Ben White Day", to be held on the 25th anniversary of Ben's death. The idea was sparked by a collection of reminiscenses of Ben White which Edith, WA4SRD, had gathered from several people who had known Ben well. That material appeared in Traffic Call for January 1988, along with the announcement of the second "Ben White Day".
The actual event took place on January 26, 1988. Stations checked in by listing " QTC W4PL 1" (whether they had traffic or not). The biggest surprise of the day was when W4PL checked into the net. It was actually K4KP, who, (prompted by WA4SRD) was operating W4PL, the station of the Chattanooga Club, and using Ben White's old bug.
TRAFFIC HOUNDS ROUND-UP
The Roundup was a 24-hour long QSO Party type affair, for the purpose of allowing fellow traffic handlers to get to know each other better. It was not a contest (no scoring), just an opportunity for brother traffic handlers to "...engage in some old-fashioned rag chewing."
The event was first held on New Years Day 1958, and ran from 0001 to 2400 local time. The general call was to be CQ TFC, and the greeting "...is the traffic hounds mating cry ARF." Results were reported in the February 1958 newsletter, showing 58 stations had sent in "activity reports" for the event. Also, there was this: "Very favorable comments were received here, with the wish that Roundup be an annual affair."
Initiated by NJ4L in January 1992 as a sort of "station of the month" feature in the newsletter recognizing those stations making significant contributions to the net. Selection was by a small committee, who considered "...net attendance, traffic handled, net conduct, careful keying, helpfulness, awareness of what is going on, support of net activities including Traffic Call with editorial contribution as well as monetary. Courtesy and good humor are also important."
The first member to be recognized as a Top Dawg was Larry Frazer (W4SUS). Seven other net members were featured before the Top Dawg quietly faded from the scene.
First awarded in July 1996 to George, N1DHT, the selection criteria is much like the Top Dawg award with special emphasis on those personality traits which were shown by W4SUS. The award is made on a quarterly basis as a memorial to Larry Frazer, W4SUS. Recipients take custody of the W4SUS Memorial Paddle for the three months. The paddle is a Bencher, with gold-plated components and bears a plaque which reads: "W4SUS LARRY FRAZER GENTLEMAN". Awardees are chosen by a small selection committee.
NEWSLETTERS AND MASCOTS
Our newsletter originated with the Traffic Hounds Morning Watch net. The first issue was published in February 1956 by Ev Battey (W4IA). It was a single sheet, legal size paper, and at the time had no name. The net's mascot was displayed in the upper corner of the page, but like the newsletter, he too was as yet unnamed.
The next newsletter (March 1956) called for suggestions for a name for the mascot, and two months later the members were asked to select (by vote) one of the five suggested names: Reveille, DiDah, Rouser, K9ARF, or Sparky. The June 1956 newsletter printed the results of the balloting, and the net mascot officially became known as Rouser. The name Rouser had been the suggestion of K2EQP.
The newsletter continued unnamed until the January 1958 issue, when it became "Watchwords". That name was chosen by a vote of the ROOA members from a list of fourteen possible names. It had been the suggestion of WØUTD.
Beginning with the March 1963 issue, the newsletter was renamed as Traffic Call. The change of name came about when the HBN and the MW nets formed an "alliance" to become the Ben White Memorial Traffic Nets. Both nets continued under their own managers, but began to share the newsletter, and it was thought that the original name of Watchwords was too closely aligned with the MW net, hence the change of name.
Member profiles began appearing with the September 1956 issue. The first profile was of Keith Henney (W1QGU), who you may recognize as the author of several technical texts including the "Radio Engineering Handbook". The second and third member profiles were of Fred Schneider (WØECE) and Jack Zuzula (K2GWN) respectively. Fred's equipment in 1956 included a (Hallicrafters) S-85 receiver with Q-Multiplier, a Globe Scout 40A transmitter and a 7 MHz Windom antenna fed with 300 ohm open wire line. Jack’s profile made no mention of his station gear.
The collection of newsletters that I am using as source material is missing issues for several periods of time. The largest such "gap" is from August 1966 to early 1973. The last available issue of what I think of as the "original" series was #115 which appeared in August of 1966. Of those original newsletters, W4IA was editor for 50, and K2GWN for 65 issues.
The next available newsletter in the collection is the first issue of the newsletter for the (then) new Hit & Bounce Slow net. That issue was published by Kurt Meyers (W8IBX) who is now W8IQ, and came out around March 1973, covering the first few months of the HBSN. It was called the HBSN Report. Starting with the fourth issue in June 1973, the newsletter was renamed the HBN/HBSN Report, and began covering both HBSN and the parent HBN. In June 1974, the name was changed again, this time to Hit & Bounce Report. These newsletters were in a smaller (8 ½ x 11) format, and had none of the canine drawings or verbiage as part of the masthead. Most of these were edited by Kurt Meyers, but later ones were done by Chuck Clark (WB4OBZ) who later had call K4ZN. I am not able to be more specific since the collection of newsletters has several more "gaps" during this period.
With the November 1978 newsletter, K2GWN once again became editor (as well as net manager). The newsletters reverted to the larger legal size paper, and once more displayed a net mascot who looked suspiciously like Tramp of "Lady and the Tramp" fame. Yet another net mascot made his appearance on the March 1979 issue, a hound called Ham-bone. The newsletter was unnamed at first, but beginning in December 1979, the newsletter was once again called Traffic Call, and has continued under that name to the present day. From issue #61 of February 1984 onward, Ham-bone was depicted operating a straight key. Right-handed (or is it right-pawed?). Jack resigned as editor and net manager after issue #85 of February 1986. He certainly deserves a great deal of praise for all his efforts as editor/publisher and net manager over the years. He was editor for at least 150 issues of the newsletter in the aggregate.
Following Jack’s retirement as editor, the newsletter went through a series of changes of editor/publisher and format. Editors during this transitional period included K4ZB, NJ8S, W4DJ, W8IQ with K3RC, and finally back to K4ZB again in November 1988. Doug was editor until June 1994. Then Sam WB5ZJN took over the job and held it until our present editor "Obie" WA4DOX assumed the role in June 1998. The small-format newsletter began with the September 1988 issue, and the net mascot vanished until he appeared again in his present incarnation in August 1994. The new version was drawn by Deana Collins Steven, a friend of editor WB5ZJN, and was called ARFie at first, but quickly re-assumed his old name of Rouser.
CERTIFICATES & MASCOT DRAWINGS
Royal Order of Arfers
Watch First Issue 1956
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