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THE PRESIDENTS CORNER
                                                                      The President’s Message

Greetings to the GCARA group! We are in the midst of Florida’s most beautiful time of year, where cool breezes and mild sunny days make being outside above delightful. We are so lucky.

That makes me wonder why more people did not venture out to Vista View Park On Saturday, April 14th.  The people who were there did an incredible job to provide some good, old fashioned amateur radio fun for all who came. Jeff Stahl, K4BH, Joe McGee, NX4T, and Kenny Hollenbeck, KD4ZFW along with his gracious wife Sally Hollenbeck, KK4UFM packed their vehicles up with all sorts of radio gear and antennas and came to the park early to set up. Kenny brought his grill and three element burner so we could cook up some delicious vittles for the ever hungry radio crew.

The weather was gorgeous: very sunny and breezy and a comfortable temperature. Birds and nature abounded around the Pavillion  1 and made nature watching a delight for me. Many kudos to Robin Terrell who went quite a distance this time to  make the property available to us for amateur use. We appreciate him first and foremost because if we cannot get a venue, we cannot have an event to hone our skills as radio amateurs. All the equipment in the world does no one any good to promote the hobby if they stay at home. I would like to encourage more attendance at our social functions. It is always a learning experience and there is great fellowship to be had by all. Your GCARA Board and it’s resource people were there is full attendance.

Everyone who was not there was missed because we love to see you even if you just want to hang out and socialize. I got to speak to Pete Rimmel, N8PR about my particular interest in Dxing and I cannot wait to book his speaking engagement for us in the Fall. I met Ralph Boyd, KK4GUB, who has been busy with developing a mesh network system and who is an ardent Radio Astronomer in his own right. Ralph just received some notice from a university group of professors who want to use his Radio Astronomy software in their college program. Congratulations Ralph. Your persistence paid off.

I also met a totally new person to me, Leonard from Illinois who is down here for a while and was a big help to all of  us as we set up and broke down the antennas and radio gear. Interestingly enough, he became a ham to force himself to achieve the ability to talk fearlessly to people. He said he knew if he became involved in ham radio, he would be forced to communicate to strangers and would benefit by overcoming his natural shyness. Well, Len, although I cannot recall your full name and Call sign, it was a pleasure meeting you and talking to you at our Annual Spring picnic. I hope to see you at future events as well.

I want to remind everyone that all of us are dealing with personal issues of some sort but that by joining in the group, the difficulty is lifted for a moment. The energy of the group  on Saturday was electric. We had a wonderful  FOX HUNT where Roy Neiman, KJ4EGN, not only found the FOX Jeff had hidden in the park but also an Easter egg with a dollar bill in it. He beat  out Joe McGee, NX4T by a nose in the neck and neck competition.

Along the course of the hunt, Ricki Witte KJ4FSJ and her husband Mel KJ4FSI as well as Sally Hollenbeck,KK4UFM and I, Melanie KJ4VCT spotted the cutest pair of burrowing owls sitting on their nest. It was a brief respite but a welcome one in the FOX hunt. We all love birds and were thrilled to see the owls.

I would say that there was something for everyone there, be it good food, conversation, good company, good competition, or radio contacts. I am sure that everyone there would agree that we had a lot of FUN. I am looking forward to Field Day and hope to see ya’ll there where we will get together again to share our hobby. Everyone is welcome.

Cheers,

Melanie   KJ4VCT         on April 16, 2018