This page was originally written and published on December 26, 1999 in honor of my friend Glen's 80th birthday. I thought I'd leave it here to mark the many years of friendship we have shared. As of this writing (March 2001) Glen and I still hook up with each other on a weekly basis.

A few reminiscences of my friend Glenn W5INU formally W0KRN.

When I first got to know Glenn he was living near Terril, Iowa on a farm. This must have been 1953 or 1954 and I had just passed my general class Ham license with the encouragement of Ole Refsell W0TTT who gave me a ride to Des Moines, IA to take my first novice license. After a struggle to learn the code I passed the general ticket I began to talk to Ole and Bill Hassing (W0FAJ).

Ole lived on a farm out of Wallingford, IA and Bill lived on a farm out of Jackson, MN. Ole and Bill would very often talk on the 160-meter band with Harvey Pederson (W0DZC), who lived near Thompson, IA. There were others of course also who would drop in from time to time. I believe that these round table chats was where I first met Glenn.

I think Glenn and I had spoken a few times on the air when Ole and his wife Mildred picked my wife Betty and me up and took us for a ride to visit Glenn's home. My memory has faded on a lot of the details but I do remember having a nice visit with Glenn and Betty in their farm home late on a Sunday afternoon.

I remember also that Glenn used to talk about getting his commercial radio license so he could do some broadcast work for commercial radio stations. As time elapsed and Glenn did get the commercial license and went to work for Estherville's first radio station, KILR, which was located just west of Estherville on what is called "half mile hill". It was a small station and Glenn started in doing some engineering work. I think after some time that he also started to do some announcing on the air. I can not say how long this lasted as I was busy with my business and family and we did not talk on the ham radio all that much at that time. From this job Glenn was able to get a better position in Virginia where he moved his family.

Years passed and we lost touch for this time until Glenn made the move to Tulsa. In these years our local ham activity had changed to the 75-meter band. Ole, Bill, Paul, and several others had a nightly get together on the air. Some how Glenn had managed to get on the Ham bands and joined in this rag chew to renew old acquaintances.

As time passed many of the old regulars passed away. But Glenn and I just seemed to keep this tradition going. We did scale it back to twice a week schedule and I think that this has continued for over 20 years. We have missed very few schedules in all this time. Glenn and Betty would come to Spencer on visits every so often and Glenn would try and make the extra miles up to visit me in person. I am sorry to say that I have not had the opportunity to visit Tulsa to reciprocate.

I sure wish that I were able to make this 80th birthday. This has to be a very HAPPY time for Glenn and all his family and friends. Even though I have not met many of you I feel as though I know many of you by all the past conversations Glenn and I have had, perhaps you may feel the same about me. I do know that Betty often reminds Glenn of the time that he should get on the air and talk to me, I miss having someone to remind me as well. At times I get busy and the time would pass by the appointed 7:30 Wednesday or Sunday night and be gone until the next time schedule rolled around. I always feel like I missed something when I fail to get on the air with Glenn.

Glenn and I both have e-mail and this is nice but the weekly talks can't be replaced by words on the computer screen. Our weekly chat makes me feel as if we were in each other's home talking. There is occasionally interference on the radio but we are so used to this form of communication it would be a tremendous loss if either of us could not be there on those appointed times.

So Glen, from my HAM shack to yours, Happy Birthday, your friendship means the world to me.

Melvin Breyfogle W0MDM


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