My interest in radio began at age 13 when my mother bought me a used "all band" shortwave radio from a jewelry store in Andalusia Alabama. I remember that it cost $15. In a round about way, that radio led me to my first job, age 15, at WBLO in Evergreen. The same radio connected me with a high school teacher and later mentor K4VMT. Mr. Miller gave me my novice test and I became WN4ZUD. I was never too fond of the code but that novice ticket got me into the Army Military Affiliate Radio System where I could finally operate phone. We were mostly on AM then. The MARS experience was good because it taught disciplined message handling and communications procedures. After high school I moved on to WMPI in southern Indiana but it was my Army MARS experience that eventually brought me into the Signal Corps in 1974. I spent most of my Army days in Greece at a nuclear weapons facility during the Cold War. I later moved on to other vocations but have always had a keen interest in radio communications. Those experiences and knowledge gained from my hobby have often been valuable to me in my career. And it all started with a second hand portable radio. Who would have thought it?