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John Saunders (VK2DEJ)
I just learned of the death of one of my ham radio friends. John Saunders. VK2DEJ passed away last November at the age of 84. He and his wife Eunice (RIP) provided my "home base" when I travelled to Australia and New Zealand in 1984. Each time I ventured out by train or plane from Sydney, I returned to the Saunders little home in Ryde, welcomed with a hot cuppa and a comfortable place to sleep. I was also able to transmit from their home with my Australian ham license and talk back to the USA. John was a broadcaster and he had a lot of connections in the TV industry. John arranged tours of the impressive Sydney broadcast facilities for me. He was also a member of the Studebaker Club in Sydney, for he owned an old Studebaker Lark (with a big V-8 under the hood) that he once drove all the way across Australia to Perth, across the barren Nullarbor Plain. I attended an official Aussie "barbie" with his club, and ate my fill. A few years later, John and Eunice ventured forth to the United States. A ham radio operator in Hollywood gave John and Eunice an old beater car to drive while they were in the USA. They arrived in Tucson with failing brakes, and I directed them to Aztec Automotive, a shop that serviced KOLD-TV's fleet at the time. The owner of the shop, George Browning and his mechanic welcomed the visitors with open arms. The mechanic, a man with wild hair and a crazy beard, had a name tag sewn onto his work shirt. It read: "Chainsaw". The Saunders were impressed. So were the mechanics. George liked my Aussie friends so much that he fixed the brakes at no charge. The Saunders and their newly repaired car made it all the way to the East coast and back with no serious problems. They were true adventurers and really nice people. I will miss them.
Contributed by: Wayne (K7WDA)
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