What a read... I took a course at a College in 1978 from of all people Gordon West!
My dad begged me to get my ticket ever since I can remember. (he's had his ticket since um.. 43' (he was 12). Of course, I was a typical kid, balked at everything.
His grandfather bought him a Hammarlund SP-400 radio for $12. It was AM / CW. There are many things about that radio I don't recall now as it's well over 40 years ago now.
Dad used it for many years, and that was my first radio in my room (I was 6!) We hooked up a minimal dipole so I could receive some CW and some of the AM stations (Yes, I could listen to Vinny Sculley announce the Dodgers games)
I'd turn it on and was always amazed watching all the tubes start to change color. Took some 5 minutes for the tubes to warm up and then it would frequency drift for the next 40 minutes until the air flows in the case got hot enough the incoming air didn't cause the Xtals and tubes to vary all that much... But for the first 40 minutes I was always tuning the bloody thing.
In this day and age, you can't even talk to anyone about BFO's let alone rectifiers of this breed and other things.. All the kiddies know about these days, if they're lucky are PLL's.
Anyway, I walked into the college one day and my Comp Sci. prof came up to me and using his Texas Drawl, said, "You got your Ham Ticket?"
Of course, I said, "no sir"
My prof grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, walked me through the registration line (I was like 4 hrs from the front) walked up to an empty terminal and registered me.. first course I was registered in was Gordon West's course. All my other courses got scheduled around that! So I got my ticket without my Dad's knowledge. When he found out, I had my ticket, it made his day! He found out when I went home with my interim Novice ticket and I put it under his dinner plate. I'd turned his dinner plate upside down so he'd find it.
From that point forward, when it was time to get registered, I'd call my Prof, and he'd grab me by the ear and drag me through the massive lines, find a open terminal and register me for whatever I wanted... of course he'd also say, you don't want this prof but you do wan this one.. .
And I too had to take all my tests in person in front of the FCC Examiners In Long Beach, Ca. And when I got my Tech, I could use 2M and sign KA6??? Mobile Interim LB.
I've drug my 6 call all over the country, It's been in the land of 5, and 2, and 3... right now it's on the back of my Galactic Speedster sporting enough antennas and black out windows it looks like a porcupine in the land of 4... until I do something else.. The cops and I all wave at each other as we pass!! [I drive a Crown Vic Police Interceptor so it sticks out like a sore thumb, spotlight and all]
In the old days (good grief, I can't believe I can say things like that) I would go for a job interview. Either on my belt or in my suit pocket I'd have a 2M handi talkie... I can't tell you how many times I'd been offered jobs just because I had my ham ticket!
I was in Tx. in the early 80's with a Motorola 5 frequency Handi. I was waiting to go to a job interview and was sitting out by the pool in my suit and RayBan aviator lenses that were extra dark, drinking some coffee, smoking a cigarette. There were at least 30 workers that were there to clean rooms and the like. I pulled out the Motorola and all I heard was "Immigration, Immigration" and they all scattered like cockroaches when you turn on the light in a dark room.
Oh well... I'm fortunate, my parents are still with me and while all the folks in my family still have their tickets and they we're all valid, dad's just about as deaf as a door post. About the only way I can talk with dad these days is via txt on his cell phone.. So I haven't any real complaints about the smart phones.. txt on the smart phone is the equivalent to CW for my dad since he can't hear me anymore, but he can still read.
So that's my story n' I'm stickin' to it!