- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

The Final Courtesy

K3UOC (K3UOC) on October 1, 2002
View comments about this article!

 The Final Courtesy:
A QSL Card 77 Years in the Making
Mike Manafo, K3UOC

On March 27, 1925, Mr. T.P. Allen from Belfast, Northern Ireland was tuning around 75 Meters on his receiver looking for distant radio transmissions. At 2305 GMT, Mr. Allen had the good fortune to tune in on a conversation between Harris Fahnestock, Jr. (1BBO) operating from 1AF at the Harvard Wireless Club (or U-1AF, which was the callsign used by 1AF operators when making overseas contacts in those days) and an amateur radio operator in France. Mr. Allen recorded in his radio reception log that 1AF came through at a signal strength of R7 (moderately strong) but that the atmospheric noise was very bad during this reception. However, he also noted, there was little fading on the signal from the United States and there was also no interference from any other station at the time. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mr. Fahnestock recorded a contact in the club log book with station F-8HLP at 2305 GMT on that particular day. Mr. Allen must have been very excited to copy this U.S. station -- up until that moment his DX (distant stations heard) consisted of Porto Rico [sic] on voice, and Iraq and Finland on Morse Code. To celebrate this fine DX feat, Allen sent off a reception report to 1AF in the United States, fully expecting to have his reception report confirmed by the radio operator at the Harvard Wireless Club.



Allen's SWL card arrived in Cambridge and became part of a growing collection of contact and reception reports (QSL cards) received by the Harvard Wireless Club. Several samples of these early QSL cards can be found at Time passed, and for whatever reason, Fahnestock's confirmation never arrived in Mr. Allen's post box in Belfast. Fahnestock apparently failed to confirm this 1925 SWL report or if he did confirm it, his card was never received and filed by Mr. Allen. In time, T.P. Allen most likely lost interest in collecting reception confirmation reports from amateur stations. Although the final courtesy of a QSO (or of a SWL Report) is a QSL, no ham or SWL expects to receive a return card for every single QSL sent. Some contacts and reception reports will simply never be confirmed. Soon after March 1925, Allen earned his radio license and began a long and noteworthy amateur career of his own, operating as GI6YW from Belfast. Allen, no doubt, then put his efforts into collecting amateur radio contact confirmations instead of short wave reception reports.

In late 1924, some 15 years after the founding of the Harvard Wireless Club, a group of talented undergraduate radio operators at Harvard built one of the finest amateur radio installations in the country. However, the formative years leading up to this achievement could have just as easily marked failure rather than success for the club. Beginning in 1909, and continuing through the dark years of the Great War, the HWC had moved from Crufts High Tension Laboratory to the Jefferson Physics Laboratory to the Harvard Union and finally to the basement of Westmorly Court in the heart of Harvard Square. Club officers had searched with little success for an ideal location to operate from. Either the university was one step behind the club preempting valuable real estate for other purposes, or the huge wire antenna arrays somehow managed to offend the sensibilities of this Harvard dean or that building custodian. Anyway, by some stroke of good fortune, the perfect club space was finally located in a wooden structure that sat high atop the east end of Soldiers Field Stadium. In November of 1924, Harvard operators moved into this 12 foot square windowless cubicle and erected two 55 foot gutter pipe masts to support their array of wire antennas. By January 1925, 1AF was on the air from high above Harvard Square. Radiating a 110 foot wire cage antenna at 120 foot above the ground (with a four wire counterpoise), 1AF put out a blockbuster radio signal on both CW and AM telephony. The new station was an immediate success.

The 1AF antenna (featured in the January 18, 1925 issue of the New York Times) was grounded directly to the steel frame of the football stadium. Its size was imposing and its performance was helped along by the fine equipment that the Harvard hams had assembled up in their cozy shack on the stadium roof. The radio apparatus (shown below) consisted of a 40 and 75 Meter transmitter, a 150 to 200 Meter transmitter, a 65 to 200 Meter low loss receiver, a 30 to 70 Meter low loss receiver and a Kennedy 180 to 20,000 Meter receiver with a two stage audio amplifier. The 40 and 75 Meter transmitter used two 50 watt tubes in a push-pull Hartley circuit operating on harmonics of the antenna. The 150 to 200 Meter set could be used with D.C., self rectified A.C. or phone, and could use from one to four UV-203-A tubes in various circuits. Plate supply for this transmitter was obtained from a transformer with "S" tube rectifiers and filters. With Club Secretary Fahnestock behind the microphone, this is the fine installation that transmitted the signal that T.P. Allen monitored across the Atlantic so many years ago. HWC operators reported in the summer of 1925 that an average of 140 messages (contacts or relays) per month were being maintained. As opposed to several years prior, when amateurs were limited to operating at 200 Meters and down, trans-Atlantic contacts on the higher frequency bands were now fairly commonplace.



And then disaster struck the Harvard Wireless Club. In early November 1927, less than three years after relocating from Westmorly Court to the roof of Soldier's Field Stadium, the 1AF shack caught fire. The wood-burning stove in the stadium shack overheated one cold winter evening; hot coals spilled out of the hearth and set the entire wooden structure aflame. Within an hour's time, the shack and all of its contents were a total loss. The Cambridge Fire Department was unable to reach the blaze due to the height of the structure above ground. Messrs. Fahnestock, Bohn, Thomas, Graves, and the other club operators could only watch as their magnificent station went up in flames. Morris "Al" Hughes, W1MU ('26) recalled that, Many times I'd go down to the stadium at 2:00 AM and climb up to the radio shack and pound brass. We had a wood stove in the shack for the cold winter nights. Well I graduated in l926 and the following winter I heard that some member got the stove going S-9+ and burned the shack down. And that was the end of the Wireless Club, I believe, for quite some time. Mr. Hughes (SK 1992) had that absolutely correct -- club members discussed rebuilding 1AF after the great fire, but the project garnered little enthusiasm from the discouraged operators. Too much had been invested in the station and too much had now gone up in smoke. It took nearly 20 years for the Harvard Wireless Club to right itself from this disaster.

Without delving into the tremendous activity of the Harvard Wireless Club at 52 Dunster Street during the 1950's, let's return to our story of the unanswered QSL request from Northern Ireland. Some 50 years pass by and along about 1977, a Harvard graduate student named A.E. "Buzz" Jehle (N5UR) joined the HWC. Buzz astutely observed that the history of the HWC was in danger of being lost if something wasn't done to organize and preserve the written records of the club. Being a man of action, Mr. Jehle took it upon himself to catalogue and then deposit the Wireless Club radio log books and written club records in a special collection at the Harvard University Archives. In the midst of his labors, Buzz saved out a handful of documents and early QSL cards and passed these on directly to the club members in a bound folder. Among the documents in that folder was a SWL card from Mr. T.P. Allen in Belfast, Northern Ireland, dated March 27, 1925.

Skipping ahead some 22 additional years, in February 1999, yours truly (K3UOC) and HWC Web Maestro, Phil Temples (K9HI) began the extensive job of rebuilding the HWC web site. As the site grew, one of the new club web pages featured those antique QSL cards that Mr. Jehle had collected together for the club, including the SWL card from Belfast, Northern Ireland. This page has proven very popular among history-of-radio buffs. Since uploading the antique QSL page some three years ago, we have had many positive comments from hams around the world. Several hams thanked us for preserving some of the earliest examples of QSL cards; others simply found the cards fascinating to examine. No one, however, had ever written to us with any sort of personal connection to any of those pioneer radio experimenters. That is, until September 8th, 2002.

On that particular day Tony Quest, G4UZN, wrote to W1AF regarding the Belfast SWL card. I recognized Tony's callsign from the Hillview Gardens (9M6) DXpeditions of recent years. He and I had also worked on a number of occasions from 7Z5OO in Saudi Arabia. He wrote to the Harvard Wireless Club on September 8th with a very interesting QSL request. You see, over the years, Mr. Quest has inherited entire QSL collections from SK hams. One of Tony's collections is from the estate of Mr. T.P. Allen of Belfast, Northern Ireland. In his letter to the Harvard Wireless Club he states that, I have [Allen's] collection of cards, some going back to the 1920's -- alas no card from 1AF. . . PSE QSL!!!

As anyone who has dealt with Box 88 in the past understands, there is no statute of limitations on sending or requesting QSL cards. Requests for confirmations five or ten years after a contact has been made are not unusual. In 1981, I had a QSO from Venezuela with a ham in Yugoslavia. I received his QSL request via the bureau in 2001 -- a full 20 years after the contact itself! No problem! I was pleased to confirm our "ancient" QSO. Therefore, in the spirit of ham radio camaraderie, why not confirm this 1925 SWL report now on behalf of the Harvard Wireless Club? I can think of no good reason not to honor Tony's QSL request. And so here it is; the first 1AF QSL issued in nearly 75 years.



Of course, T.P. Allen, GI6YW, is a Silent Key. And Harris Fahnestock, Jr., 1BBO, has also gone on to that big DX pileup in the sky. Yet, with G4UZN (as the curator of the GI6YW QSL collection) standing in for Allen and K3UOC (as the Trustee of W1AF) standing in for Fahnestock, I have issued a bona fide confirmation of a verified reception report -- 77 years, 5 months, and 15 days after one young Irish radio enthusiast monitored a young American radio operator chatting with a station in France, back in the halcyon days of amateur radio. The above confirmation card is the product of a good deal of graphic wizardry. In order to create this QSL, the one and only remaining 1AF QSL was scanned at 150 dpi and saved in 8 Bit Gray Scale. Handwritten text from the original contact was carefully airbrushed out. Several words printed on the original card were obscured or blurred and could not be salvaged. The upper and lower right corners of the card that are torn and missing were added. Then starting with a blank 1AF QSL, the confirmation text was added in 18-24 pt. True Type BD Cursif bold italic font, which has a wonderful turn-of-the-century handwritten feel to it.

A world record, I am certain -- 77 years, 5 months, and 15 days to confirm a QSL card! The next time you lament an overdue QSL, imagine waiting the equivalent of three and a half generations before receiving that card! Apologies for penning Fahnestock's signature on the confirmation above. I believe that the OM would have approved. His one small piece of unfinished business has now been settled. So, here's to you, Mr. Allen -- you have finally received your long overdue reception confirmation! And here's to you Mr. Quest -- for your kind attention to the legacy of our remarkable radio pioneers. And to you as well, Mr. Fahnestock -- for your legendary operations from atop Harvard Stadium. What a magnificent time you and the other Harvard radio operators must have had! And so, in the true spirit of ham radio, the circle is once again unbroken.

The Final Courtesy of a QSO is a QSL




Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
The Final Courtesy  
by W1AF on September 17, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
From: GI6YW

Dear Mike,

I have been watching with interest from up here your correspondence with Tony G4UZN. I am glad that at long last my short wave listener report all those earth years ago has been answered. You have made a very good job of that card, and I know that Tony will look after it. Don't worry about the delay; up here time is of no importance.

You may be interested to know that there are quite a lot of us radio amateurs up here. I was talking recently to Don Wallace, W6AM, who was always a keen man for QSL cards. We were hoping eventually to be joined by the other Don, Don Miller, W9WNV, but we understand that he has been designated for another place.

I was interested in your mention of your activities from Hotel Zulu land. Strangely, there are a few here (not radio people); mainly recent arrivals. We have been having some trouble with them, as they are all looking for the seventy virgins which they were promised on Earth. We have had to explain to them that there is no such thing.

Good luck with your activities down there. We all hope to meet you up here in due course.

T. P. Allen - GI6YW

P.S. Our rules are such that you will be unable to reply to this e-mail. Should you wish to do so, please e-mail Tony at
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by WA4PTZ on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This is a great story, and event. Yes, When you
agree to QSL a QSO you have made a promise, an
agreement, that is part of the honor of Amateur
Radio Operators, worldwide. To break this promise
is a very serious matter and will have long lasting
effects on your future. I have a perfect example:
Years ago a friend and fellow HAM made a contact
with a fellow HAM in Japan. My friend did not feel
that it was of any significance to QSL this QSO,
even though he had ageed to do so. Some years later
the Corporation for which my friend had worked for
some 14 years was sold and his new employer was ,
you guessed it, the HAM he did not QSL. This
had a lasting effect on my friends future as his
new employer felt that his lack of responsibility
would prevent future advancement. Newbies take note,
your chickens will come home to roost.
73 - Tim
The Final Courtesy  
by KB9YUR on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Great Story! Now, when a QSL card is sent out with a return SASE, what excuse is there
for not sending one back ?!? Over the last 18 months, I've made quite a few contacts
and am working towards my WAS. Still, after sending a gentle reminder via Email to
the Hams I've sent my QSL card and SASE, they still refuse to acknowledge the
Final Courtesy with a card. Should we maybe devote a column here on eham for
'deadbeat' hams who don't bother to acknowledge a QSL card even when the other
ham made it as painless as possible to reply with a card ?!?
George ...
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by KG4RUL on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The only problem that I have with a SASE is that often the envelope does not fit my QSL card size (5 1/2" x 4 1/4"). I then have to stamp a new envelope and the postage which was sent is wasted because the stamp cannot be removed from the old envelope. If I am including postage, I send an address label and a loose stamp along with a new envelope. This gives the option of using the supplied envelope, or one that is a better fit, or just stamping the card directly for mailing.

Dennis - KG4RUL
The Final Courtesy  
by IK2BHX on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
A fantastic hobby, spoiled. That is my definitive comment after 25 years of DX'ing. I find qsl'ing a total, unbearabe drag. Cards come in smaller and smaller percentages and after unspeakable pains. Still, all the important awards require them.

I want to spend time with my radios, meeting new people and - especially - learning new things, not doing the post office clerk work that today's qsl'ing requires.

That's why I quit DX'ing, after one DXCC Honor Roll (as IK2BHX) and three quarters (as HB9/IK2BHX). Simply can't bear the frustration of sending out cards, sases, dollars and hardly seing anything coming back.

I now find weak signals and space communications much more of an intellectual (and practical!) challenge. Not doing secretarial work...

73 Piero
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Gentlemen do care for each other, and, the amateur radio community expresses this time after time. Well done.
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by KA1BQJ on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Tom Kruczek
The Final Courtesy  
by N1PQ on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
A heartwarming story, thank you.

The ancient enthusiasm for hearing and confirming amateur radio contacts reminds me of a similar eagerness to QSL happening today among the practioners of PSK. The mode is so surprisingly effective with low power and modest antennas that sometimes until the card or e-qsl arrives, you can't quite believe the QSO occurred.

But when it does, it is another of Ham Radio's joys!

Pete Quinn, N1PQ
Harvard, MA
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by G4UZN on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Piero IK2BHX.
Yes, it's frustrating.
But I still pay my taxes, even though others don't.
Mike's article was not about QSL-ing, it was about history.
In 77 years time, you guys who don't QSL will not be part of history. You will have left nothing behind you for future historians to ponder over.
Have none of you guys a sense of history or a sense of humour (sorry, humor) ?
Piero, if you have hit the honour (honor) roll and lost interest in your cards, send them to me for my collection. Or to the Vienna QSL Museum (see That will preserve your achievements for posterity.Same to anyone else that is listening.
The Final Courtesy  
by G0SLP on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
What a marvellous story - great stuff.

The bit about mixing an original 20's QSL card with modern technology to create a "new" 20's style card, purely to close out the QSO surely sums up our hobby.

Well done to all concerned
The Final Courtesy  
by FORMER_WS4V_KS on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This is an excellent article and is wonderfully written and chronicled. Eham is quite honored to have such an article appear on their site.
Thank you. Very interesting indeed.
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by KC7MM on October 1, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
What a wonderful story! It reminds me of all those incredible QSL cards that I have received over the past 20 years. I send out the U.S. 5 cent amateur radio postage stamp with my QSL on occation, especially to cards I really want. In return, I have received some of the most beautiful stamps and warm letters from fellow hams around the world.

This hobby of ours lets us reach out and touch others we otherwise would never have had the opportunity to know. Incredible! Not return a requested QSL??? Truly bad form. Keep those cards coming! Even if they are a bit late.

Best 73 & DX! PSE QSL,

RE: The Final Courtesy  
by K4NR on October 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Dennis (KG4RUL),

Your QSL is oversized! My first card years ago was printed on 8.5 by 11 inch stock and cut into four QSLs. Like you, I had all kinds of problems. The next time I printed the card, I had it printed on standard size stock--never had a problem since.

73 de Tom, K4NR
The Final Courtesy  
by HE9RFF on October 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Congratulations on this wonderful story! As both a Ham and SWL I know of the frustrations mentioned in some of the comments but I will always remember my first QSL in 1948 from LU6AJ whom I heard in Switzerland in AM and thanks to whom and his QSL I eventually became an Amateur with a 100% QSL policy. As HS1ALK over 20 years back I thought I was a "good" DX but the QSL return was 49% only (as SWL now retired in Australia as VK4/HE9RFF return is abt.27% average but I still send out QSLs!).73s Hans
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by N8IK on October 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I can't decide which is more fun: making the contact or receiving the real QSL card in the mailbox! Even better is a bunch of cards in your mailbox from the buro. Received a beautiful card from JT1CO on Monday - thanks Chak and all the other DX who send cards! Actually the very best card you'll ever receive is a homebrewed card from a kid that was his or her first contact - thanks Rebekah (WG4Y, ex-KG4OPC)!
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by KA5N on October 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
How about all the QSL's from stations I've never
worked? Since I long ago decided that QSL's were not
a good way to spend resources and nobody cared what
awards I won nor what DX I'd worked, I quit chasing
cards. I keep a few evelopes at the buro and most of
the cards I get are from DX I've never worked. I still
log all contacts and there just not there. Sometimes
they are countries I've not worked! I've started
saving them just to see if I could get DXCC for bogus
QSL's! (Before some of you gasp and faint, I don't
entend to REALLY do it).
Allen KA5N
The Final Courtesy  
by G4KUD on October 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Fantastic article must keep in touch as you have with this World Record. Best of luck.

Barry G4KUD/7Z1AB
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by G3RZP on October 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Nice story. But remember that the '100% QSL' approach is very good for filling QSL Bureau sorter's waste paper bins. About 50% of cards sent via bureau don't get collected. (I've been a QSL bureau sorter)

Contesters who QSL 100% really get my goat. Just how many cards do I need from a guy? The sensible approach is that of K1DG - QSL first QSO on a band or mode. Extra QSL's only on demand. Some US contest station QSL every time, and if you're active in a few contests, you can easily get 20 QSL cards from one guy in a year - 5 bands SSB, 5 bands CW, 4 contests.....


Peter G3RZP
The Final Courtesy  
by K2WH on October 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Very nice article. It brought a tear to my eye. Now, I wonder what the misguided eQSL advocates think of this story? I hope it will turn a few back to real QSL'ing.

RE: The Final Courtesy  
by N2MG on October 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
There are several EU stations that QSL every contest QSO as well. I have dozens of cards from the same station...what a bore!

Mike N2MG
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by K3ESE on October 9, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Very nice article...but...maybe it's just me, but when I hear (or see) "The Final Courtesy," all I think of is something like a decent burial...not a QSL card. Maybe "The Courteous End to a QSO" would do it.
The Final Courtesy  
by NE0P on October 9, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
It is nice to see the effort that some go to in order to make sure that the deserving stations receives the QSL. I had my own experience with this last year. I had worked 4S7WP, but could never get a QSL, and it was my only Sri Lanka (at that time). I finally posted a message on the DX-QSL reflector asking others about their experience with getting QSLs from this station, and it appeared that it was difficult. Well, Denver, 4S7DA answered me and told me that he knew 4S7WP, and that the station did not do much DXing anymore, but he would see what he could do. He asked me for the details of the QSO. Well, I replied, and about an hour later he emailed me to say he had gone to visit WP, and he now had the QSL for me in his hands. He asked for my address, and said he would send it the next day, no SAE or money needed. It showed up about a week later. What a great surprise! never expected to get that kind of service.

The Final Courtesy  
by KM5EW on October 9, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I once thought I had read many interesting articles about amateur radio...until this one, which takes all of us back to the golden days. I applaud and salute all who were involved.

As far as QSLing is concerned personally, I DO try to QSL 100%, but I'm not the kind of person that sends a card for 30 contacts on the same band to the same station. I may send one for each different band / mode, but that's because I am heavily involved in operating awards. And yes, I know that I will never get 100% return for my cards, but how do you know unless you try? I am a patient person as well, and if takes 3 years to get a card then so be it.

I enjoy the thrill of receiving a card from a faraway land, and many of the cards I have received over the years often become the subject of many an interesting conversation. And, believe it or not, many times I can even remember some of the QSO I had with that station, even if it was just a 59 exchange. Many times I can even remember how I almost got a sore throat trying to call the station (DX or stateside), but I do so with a smile!

QSLing is one aspect of the hobby I truly enjoy, and I admit the fact that I relish being part of another ham's personal history in the hobby with his ownership of one of my cards, and his being part of mine in reciprocal terms. At least in this aspect, QSL cards provide one way of looking back over time in our hobby.

QSLing is up to the individual, but as for me I will always extend "The Final Courtesy".

Warren Rowe / KM5EW
Temple, Texas
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by K5WW on October 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
A nice story! But also a little sad, really...

I appreciate your good intentions by wanting to "confirm" this reception report after all this time.

But to me it seems that the only record that was set is a world record in being extremely late. Don't call Guinness yet!

After all, both gentlemen are deceased now, which you knew, so can you still call it a "confirmation"? Confirmation to who?

The SWL probably had high hopes getting a return card in a timely manner. The operator at 1AF should have taken care of it back then, when there was a slightly better chance that the receiving party would be alive upon getting his card.

I like sending and getting cards myself, and will reply to each one I get. I print out my own cards for SWLs, because I have no "SWL-only" cards (just don't get enough to justify the cost) and to make it look more special.

Years ago I was a SWL myself, and had more problems getting a confirmation of my reception reports than I have now for my QSOs (probably because of the card problem I just mentioned) but to me - as a SWL - those cards meant just that little bit more than the ones I get now...

And just as today I didn't care back then when they arrived: 1 month or 1 year, or even 10 years after I sent my card. But frankly, in 75 years from now it's not going to be any use to me :-)

A little tip for the gentleman that occasionally has problems putting his (oversized?) QSL card in (small?) SASEs: scissors and glue. Cut out the stamp, and glue it on one of your own envelopes. No need to waste any stamps, and a new envelope and 1 minute of your time is not that bad, is it?

Happy QSL'ing, 73,

Gert - K5WW
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by KA5N on October 11, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
If you want to use the stamp on a different envelope, you should glue the entire front of the SASE to your envelope. The USPS won't accept glued or reused stamps. I have tried this in the past and most came back without being delivered.
Allen KA5N
RE: The Final Discourtesy  
by G4UZN on October 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
ME2FU. It is sad that you have not entered your correct call. Possibly this is out of fear that in due course we will meet in that place below. You are obviously afraid that I will get there first, with hot irons at the ready for the seventy-two percent of US amateurs who have not replied to my bureau cards. I suppose you will reply by saying that my cards will be answered, in seventy-odd years time, when you all get around to it. But that will not do- all the cards I have received from down there have been in poor shape, being rather charred around the edges.
The Final Courtesy  
by KD7PLU on February 18, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What a cool story. Having a shack on top of Soldier's Field would be the best. Looking at the rough photo of the shack and having an idea from the story of what some of the gear was for made for great nostalga (sp)
These are the kind of stories that pulled me into ham radio, and the kind of lore and tales that more hams and non-hams should hear.

Loren B. Cobb / KD7PLU
The Final Courtesy  
by ATASYTE on June 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

What an experience. When I was 19, at Harvard, I met my first major love and social experience in the personage of Debbie Fahnestock, at the time a senior at Concord Academy who lived in a huge place on the nicest hill in Concord. Her mother ruled Boston Society and paid off the debts of the Boston Symphony each year. Mrs. Fahnestock was a totally social millionaire in her own right, overbearing and domineering. Her husband, an amateur photographer and ontime racer of Jaguars, ran MIT's Lincon Labs. I have some great B&W shots he made of me in 1964. His folks did the Northern Pacific Railroad, their NY house is now the Phillipine Embassy and you'll see his name all over St. Thomas's on 5th Avenue. Debbie was due to inherit $1 million flat on her 21st birthday. I was a kid, I joked with Debbie that the Fahnestock clip was named after her. Her father had married once before, both daughters, no children.

Her older sister married a nice Jewish fellow-student at McGill just to spite her anti-semitic mother, had a daughter Jessica Rovinsky in Montreal, and became a lesbian. Harris .. who I later learned was indeed the inventor of the Fahnestock clip ... drank too much all his life and died in the 1980's. Mrs Harris Fahnestock died in 1998. And then, tragically, Debbie, who was now a social worker in New Mexico, came down with incurable lung cancer. She didn't smoke. If you put Deborah Fahnestock into Google, you;ll find her amazing essay on approaching death, this woman who at seventeen was the carefree daughter of a family so rich she said "I don't know where it came from .. it's in banks all over the world" ... my first real girlfriend .. who sang folk songs, played the guitar, danced flamenco and died childless at 52.

Which means all Harris Fahnestock's amazing wealth is going to end up in the hands of a nice lady - now aboout 25 - named Jessica Rovinsky in Montreal.

And that ... is the real end of the line of Harris Fahnestock and now you all know.

RE: The Final Courtesy  
by VK3EMF on February 26, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
G'day Hans,
I just received your QSL Card for AUS-079, from the 2002 ILLW effort.
I note your SWL Card is VK4/HE9RFF....
Is this still valid via the Burerau, if not, please give me your current address and I'll post it to you.
RE: The Final Courtesy  
by ALANWENDT on August 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I met Deborah at Tucson Friends of Traditional Music around 1985 and visited her home once or twice because
we both played hammered dulcimer. After I was married,
Deborah and her guy were running a bed and breakfast in Tucson that my wife and I stayed at.

Deborah was a wonderful person who obviously could have
afforded to retire but chose to become a medical social
worker and assist Vietnam Vets. She enriched the lives
of many people.
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
Amateur Radio Is There When All Else Fails:
'Like Fishing, You Never Know What You Might Catch':
'Safety Heroes' Honored by County:
YOTA 2019 Finishes This Weekend:
NZART Taranaki Award: