I don't remember how I came to think about ham radio. It's almost like I absorbed the idea out of the air. It's one of those dusty memories with no points of reference.
I remember the first time I saw a ham radio station. It was summer and I was out riding my bicycle around the neighborhood. I happened to notice an antenna at the top of a tower growing out of the backyard of a house. I stopped and stared at it, and finally got up the courage to knock on the door. I explained to the nice lady who came to the door that I'd noticed the antenna & wondered if it was part of a ham radio station.
The lady said that I was right, but that I would have to come back later to see the radio amateur in question, who was taking a nap at that moment. I then asked if I could just peek in the door at the stuff. The answer was no, I'd have to come back later. I gave the lady my phone number and then rode back home to tell my father about the entire adventure.
A few days later, I got a chance to visit Jack Sargent, a local dentist and owner of the station. Jack showed me an assortment of equipoment that he had in the utility room of his house. Racks and panels and cabinets, all of it beyond my understanding.
I went back a couple more times and got to listen to Jack talking to people from all over. Once he stuck the microphone in my face & I was completely tongue-tied with "mic fright."
That was pretty much it. I never did learn the theory and Morse code to get a basic license and get on the air. Before long I stopped pestering Jack. I got into other things and forgot all about ham radio.
But I do remember Jack's antenna and tower glistening in the bright summer sunshine. That and my audacity of even going up to the door to ask to see the station.
It was a quite a few years in fact, before I finally got around to the theory and Morse code test . . . which leads to the next page.