When You Know You’re “Famous.”

This will be one of my shortest, and probably most crazy blogs ever. I have a good one about "aliens" all teed up for the next one, but bear with me. As some of you know, I have been "flogging" my new book now since the February 1st release date. To be honest, I've practically worn my self out with a major book signing and talk at the largest book store in Austin (and probably Texas), four different "appearances" and selling efforts (Dallas TX, Orlando FL, Dayton, OH-Bluefield WV-Princeton WV, and finally a week ago back in the Dallas area at Irving, TX), interviews on six radio stations nationwide, and one podcast (Israel). In addition to all these breathless jaunts and efforts (try standing on your feet ten hours a day for days on end looking "open and inviting" at ham radio conventions at a sales table), I've "news-lettered" and "blogged" according to the "how to be successful on social media" plan from my social media consultant at the publisher.

OK, enough of that. Sales will be what they will be. But finally I know that I've "made it," and in the most unusual way. At my wife's most recent hair appointment for coloring and shaping, the fellow who colors her hair (he's also a musician here in town) told me that he was looking on the Internet for my new book, and somehow ran across advertisements for some of my old QSL cards. Those of you who are not ham radio aficionados probably have never heard of a QSL card. These are the written confirmation (sort of) post cards that hams used to (and still do) exchange to confirm a contact over the air. Now a lot of these are done electronically, but some people still do the paper versions through the postal service. Back to the story from which I am wandering, my wife's coloring guy somehow lost his good judgement and sent off for one of my old (and I mean old) cards, and spent ten bucks ordering it on eBay from a seller in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He proudly presented it to me, and I was almost knocked over.

Here's a view of the envelope and the front of the card:


And here's the back, or information side


Note the date is February, 1978. My family and I had moved from Scottsdale, AZ to Furlong, PA when I took a "great new job" with a small semiconductor company (a move that was not great and resulted in a virtual lobotomy and a dollop of humility). But back to the story. The contact was with a station with the call letters of ZF2AI, which means he was in the Cayman Islands. Apparently I needed his QSL card, as I wrote "PSE (please) QSL" on my card. So how about that. It's almost impossible to believe, but true, that some people are selling (and some are buying!) old ham radio confirmation cards. Hey, maybe the new book will never make me into the next John McPhee or Ian McEwan, but there is a small (very small) niche in ham radio history for me.

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