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Skip Courtney (K2UAT)
You can tell by the call sign that Skip and I were in the "same line" at the FCC in 1956. Actually, I first met Skip when I was a hardware salesman for Sears, working my way through college. He came in with his Mom, looking for some radio construction parts. Skip was totally blind. That little adversity didn't keep him from building things, from graduating from Manhattan College with an EE or from a career with Grumman Aerospace where he designed antennas for submarine search aircraft and had a minor role in the Lunar Lander design. He was a tireless traffic handler, recording all of the traffic on a Braille typewriter. He was one of the few Air Force MARS auxillary operators allowed to pass traffic directly with AIR, not working through MARS nets. Skip and I had some fabulous adventures together, the most memorable of which was a trip to the AIR station in the Pentagon. We saw some incredibly sophisticated gear in the Air Force SSB station. On this particular trip, Skip amazed me with his personal version of Sonar. As we approached the Pentagon from Visitor Parking, and in fact throughout the building, he was telling me what physical objects we were approaching, including sidewalk curbs! He could interpret the return echos from his fingers, which he was constantly snapping! Dumb me, I thought it was a nervous habit. Marriage on both our parts and apartment living caused us to lose contact with each other. A sudden, massive heart attack at the tender age of 40 claimed one of my best ham buddies. His great fist, super sense of humor and incredible abilities are missed.
Contributed by: Dick Bentley (K2UFT)
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