I laughed my socks off when I read in the blog of RSGB General Manager Peter Kirby, G0TWW about the chap who was going to resign over the RSGB's insistence on retaining the Morse test even though it had been done away with in 1998. After I posted on this blog it occurred to me that maybe this was not at all what it seemed.
A fellow ham who I have know since I was first licenced recently had a stroke and another does not come on the air anymore due to the serious onset of Alzheimer's disease, either of these problems could have resulted in such a mistake. There by the grace of God go I or so to speak. It is still funny but I feel a little guilty when I laugh about it.
A little incident on 80m the other day was similar. I did not know if I should laugh or cry. I laughed and then felt guilty about it. An old timer was ripping in to some Intermediate level licensee because he had never heard of his 2E0 callsign prefix. Eventually someone came to the young lads' rescue and explained that the old timer was his Dad and that he was suffering from Alzheimer's.
One guy I did feel sorry for was a white stick operator who broke in to a net because he had lost his place on the dial and did not know what frequency he was on. Strangely I found that incredibly funny later and then I felt guilty again.
My point being, that we all get very annoyed at idiots on the airwaves from time to time but we should probably be a bit more tolerant with at least some of them. Misfortune could strike anyone of us at any time and I don't know about you, but if they took away my ham radio it would be like loosing a family member.
My wife Helen was suitably blunt when, after meeting someone we have known for years with Alzheimer's, I said "I hope I never get like that!" "What do you mean 'get'?" she replied. Ow! That was cruel.
Who am I, where am I and how the Hell did I get here?