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Hall of Fame
By Ken Bird, W8SMK
When I was a kid in Junior High School I had a paper route. I remember a time when I saw an old guy on N.
Washington St. building a fold-over tower in his yard. I asked him what it was for. He said “I’ll show you.” He took
me into his single car garage where there were line-ups of old military gear down both sides. Turns out he was
Harold “Hump” Eagon, W8???. He said he was a MARS operator. At the time I didn’t know what that meant.
Fast forward several years. When I got home from the U.S. Army in 1971 I found something called CB Radio, and
soon thereafter I ran into Bob Scott, WB8JEY on the air. It didn’t take long for him to convince me to get my
Amateur license and I was hooked. Through Bobby I met several of his very knowledgeable Ham friends.
It also turns out that back in the late 50s or 60s there was a radio club in Delaware. I think it was called the
Delaware Radio Club. They also had a club call sign of W8QLS. If you have seen the first edition of the DELARA
News, the roster contains many of those names from the past (only a couple of us left), and we were able to
transfer that call sign to the new club.
Well, fast forward again to about 1979. Many of us (mostly knowing each other from 2M) decided that there was
now enough activity in Delaware to revitalize the old Delaware Radio Club. We sent out a mailing to all licensed
Amateurs in Delaware County and you know what happened next. They came out of the woodwork!
At that time most of the clubs in Central Ohio were ‘repeater’ clubs except for CARA, but it was a long drive to
COSI (where they met) on a working night. That’s why it was decided that it was time for a ‘General Interest’ radio
club in Delaware.
DELARA began participating in annual Field Day activities and we always had quite a few CW gurus. When
Paul Forgrave, K8ES passed away we asked the family if we could obtain his call sign for the Club, and they
agreed. Well, how do you make more CW contacts in 24 hours? Get a shorter call sign! Hence the current call.
Over the years DELARA members have always felt it was important to give back to the community, so we held
radio classes, participated with the local Red Cross and other agencies, parade organizers, etc. which qualified
us as a Special Service Club.
If you haven’t seen the first 25 years worth of DELARA News, it is still available on a CD. It’s well worth the
reading when you get bored on a cold Winter night. Contact me if you are interested in reading the “whole story”.