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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Harlan "Smitty" Smith (UNKNOWN)


Smitty was the consumate Elmer. In the mid-1960's, I was a teenage member of the Irvington (NJ) Amateur Radio Club, a club that was started before WWII and continues to live on today. Smitty was a fixture of the club in those days, and I am sorry I can not remember his call, it is lost in the mist of time. Every night before the monthly meeting, Smitty ran Code Practice. Sometimes he offered it in-between meetings, if there were a few newbies studying for the "Novice". Never a meeting went by when Smitty did not laboriously haul his heavy, home brew, tube operated code practice oscillator with it's massive power supply and J38 key (full size Army surplus) into the meeting room, connect the mess together and set forth perfectly keyed code practice for any and all to copy. Smitty was elderly, looking back I would guess in his late 60's - early 70's, and quite lame with a pronounced limp. We never asked where it came from, but in those days you lived side-by-side with lots of ex-GI's who had been through WWII and preferred not to talk about it, so one didn't ask about such things. I half-remember some talk about a lineman's accident, with the spikes cutting out from the pole, and a fall, but all that is lost in the mist of time along with his call. Sometimes I would help him haul in that massive CPO, and also help him dis-assemble it and take it back to his car when code practice was over. He was very fussy about his wire. He taught me how to coil wire, specifically the AC mains wire and the multiple-conductor cable running from the power supply to the CPO. I remember him saying, "If you are good to your wire, your wire will be good to you". To this day, 40-some years later, I still coil any wire I am winding by carefully giving it a half-twist to form every coil, the way Smitty taught me. He was a man among men and he helped a lot of young people learn the code and get on the air. If any old IRAC members remember Smitty and his call letters, please respond.

Contributed by: Greg Grambor (WB2GMK)

I found a Harlan Smith in Chicago Area who was born in 1930 and his call was W9dny. But it appear's he never renewed his license which was to be done in 1995.

Contributed by: LARRY HUFF (FORMER_K0PD)

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