It’s been just over 90 days since I returned from E51AMF/E51ADD. The memories are still just as vividly and indelibly etched in my skull, but I haven’t been good about sharing them here. Instead of aiming for long-form updates, I endeavor to share snippets and may stumble upon inspiration along the way.
As I reflected on my return trip, this hobby has brought me in touch with incredible people around the world. Even given my meager number of contacts, I was floored by the outpouring of gratitude for new-bandmodes, ATNOs, or even just the opportunity to make a contact. While this was surprising to me, I understood it. I’ve done the ATNO dance a couple hundred times and totally get it.
What I didn’t expect was the minor celebrity status. The DX news cycle was surprisingly rabid and chased every tidbit I shared on Twitter. I was ‘interviewed’ by email by Oku-San (JK1KSB) and Hiro-San (JA4DND) from JA CQ Magazine for the March 2017 issue (excerpt – PDF). I provided an update for both the High Band and Low Band sections. I was thrilled to share a page with W0YK (P49X) who I met solely because of my trip. He’s referred to me as a “reverse elmer” – easily the most flattering thing that’s been said about me in this hobby, to date.
My celebrity status led me to one conclusion. The ham radio titans were also people just like me. Of course they’re more knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced than I. At some point, they were just as flattered and confused about the whirlwind of talk about them.