Amateur Radio Station KH6CRW, Kekaha, Hawaii

QSL Card from KH6CRW, 7 May 1960

This is a QSL card which, in ham radio, is an acknowledgment from an operator that they have received your report of having heard their transmissions.  This particular card was sent to Bill Seaback of Tacoma, Washington, on 16 May 1960, all the way from Mike Nelson of Kakaha, Hawaii.  Bill was apparently a ham radio listener rather than an operator, and collected QSL cards from all over the Western Hemisphere.  I have several of his cards and most of them, like this card, were apparently displayed using thumbtacks.

Most QSL cards are personally designed by each operator.  Mike chose to reproduce some of the Olowalu Petroglyphs, which are prehistoric rock drawings on Maui.  It strikes me that Mike chose drawings that resemble, after a fashion, a ham radio operator and an antenna.

Can you hear me now? Good.

Mike acknowledges that Bill did indeed hear him talking to K7DQV on 7 May 1960.  It turns out that K7DQV was Fred Nelson of Puyallup, Washington; let’s assume that Fred was Mike’s brother.  If you think about it, it’s really ingenious; in the days before reliable, inexpensive, transoceanic communication, Fred and Mike could talk on a regular basis via shortwave — and Bill could eavesdrop.

There’s no card from Fred among Bill’s collection, so it may be that Bill only heard the half of the conversation coming from Hawaii (which is entirely possible despite their proximity, especially since Fred was probably aiming his signals across the Pacific).  Or it could be that Bill just wasn’t interested in receiving a QSL card from someone in his backyard.

I was able to learn from the FCC that Mike relocated at some point to South Beach, Oregon, which is a straight shot down Interstate 5 from Fred, about five hours away.  I assume that both Mike and Fred, like Bill, have since passed on. Fred last renewed his license in 1994; Mike, in 1988.

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4 Responses

  1. Chandy says:

    The design is a great classic look even back then. Glad to see they kept the integrity of the design.

  2. Terry says:

    I am so glad you chose to share a bit of your home town.
    Happy PFF to you.
    That was so true about our highways.
    Back to your Federal building .
    What a wonderful history it has.
    I am so glad it is still in use.
    Thank you for all the great information.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Happy Trails

  3. michelle says:

    I used to live in Hotlanta, not too far from your pretty home town. Lots of great info in this post and the card is great! Have a wonderful PFF!

  4. Jennifer (Bill's Daughter) says:

    Bill was 15 years old in 1960. He passed away a few years ago. It’s nice to see that you have pieced together the history of the post card.

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