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I Married a Ham

from Margarita Quarles, K5MSQ on February 7, 2001
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I Married a Ham...

By Margarita Quarles, K5MSQ

When I first met him, he said he spent a lot of time in his shack. Shack? What shack? I could only picture some little run down hovel out in the woods. Later I learned that a shack was in fact a room of the house dedicated to ham radio. Boy was I relieved! He said he spent a lot of time, sometimes all night, on the radio. What could a person do all night on a radio and whom could he possibly be talking to? They speak a different language you know. QTH, QRZ, QRQ and so on. Some even drive cars with really ugly antennas.

We all have expectations of what a marriage should be, but little did I know! In each marriage there is a little `his-hers-yours-mine' but they can all be shared. Some men have Monday night football or Thursday night poker. Owen has Ham Radio. It is not just a hobby but it becomes a part of your life. There are lots of operating events. Owen is very competitive and likes to operate in contests. There are lots of different contests in both CW and Phone. During the winter months, there is even a Fox Hunt. It is nothing like getting on a horse and hunting for a bushy tailed fox as they do in England.

While riding in the car with Owen, one of the first things I noticed about Ham Radio was the names, voices, and stories told by some of the local Hams. There was the `Old Timer', affectionately called because he has been a ham longer than most can remember. When I first heard someone called `Captain Kirk', I thought of the TV program Star Trek. But as it turns out his name really is Jim Kirk! Uncle Zed was another name I later found out referred to a call sign once held by Bill's father.

A couple years ago I took a novice class given by the Northwest Amateur Radio Society. There were several other wives in the class. We never discussed very much why we were really taking the course. One of the ladies, Stella, was there because her husband made her an offer to retire one year early if she got her license. The class was interesting because we learned the language that our husbands were speaking. There were a great many aspects of ham radio which related to my profession in radiology. There were also some very technical aspects of ham radio dealing with antennas. The wives kidded that if the need ever came along to put up an antenna or install a radio, we would have to lend out a husband.

A couple years ago, my husband and a couple other hams, drove all over the state in a contest called the Texas QSO Party. They had a blast and I said next year I'm going to drive you around to the different counties and you could operate the contest. I don't mind driving and I thought about seeing parts of Texas I had not seen. The main thing was that I would be spending some time with my husband doing the things he enjoyed. As it turned out, I was quickly hooked on this contest plus I learned a little more about my husband. I have since driven for him in this contest a few times. The most recent time I too had my license. I have become most competitive in this contest and each time I want to get through more and more counties. This year more wives joined in and drove for their husbands. We all had a great time. After the contest was completed, everyone got together for dinner and to exchange stories of the adventure. The more the stories are told, the bigger they get!

Wherever you may work for a living, everyone shares the same profession. But with Ham Radio, there is a whole world of engineers, doctors, lawyers, husbands and wives that share one common hobby. Someone said you had to be an extravert to be a Ham. That is not true. This is a hobby of warm, friendly, wonderful people to meet, talk with, and help you. I am certainly glad I got involved with Ham Radio and I think most women would also enjoy the hobby and sharing hobby time with their husbands.

Dit Dit

Member Comments: Add A Comment
I Married a Ham Reply
Anonymous post on February 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What a lady! My wife needs to read this!
I Married a Ham Reply
by kc5nsw on February 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Fantastic article from a fantastic LADY......great job, Margaret....
I Married a Ham Reply
by K5OS on February 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Margaret, wonderful article, I know I'll try to get my wife to read it.
I Married a Ham Reply
Anonymous post on February 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Just the time to publish the Story really, I'm 27 & marrying my Fiancee in 4 Months. I wasn't interested in radio when we met 6 years ago & it wasn't until she had to spend a little time teaching in Austria & I was in University that I took interest. Jo is very patient with my "Obsession" as she calls it. Not a technical person & with no interest in Radio she trys to show interest when I come Ploughing down the stairs like a little Kid when I work a rare one or break a big pile up. She even looks after me during contest periods, with food & drink.
She must be a very forgiving woman as the garden kind of resembles across between a spiders web ( radials ) & a mini antenna farm. I always dream that perhaps in 10 years or so, radio will be a part of our lives & she'll have a go. I'm not forcing it upon her though as she too has hobbies I'm not interested in.
I goes to show that there's many couples with the Radio influence in there & I expect there's loads of people reading your story & asking their partners to have a read...

All the Best

I Married a Ham Reply
by KD5KRQ on February 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
My husband (N5EYX) sent me this article by email, probably to see if I would read it. It was really good and I'm glad he did. I, too, am married to a HAM fanatic. In fact, I promised to get my license several years ago if he would marry me. Well, he did, and I didn't. After four years I finally broke down and last summer went from "0" to General in 8 days. My best to all you HAMs out there, and wives, get your license. You'll enjoy him more for it.
I Married a Ham Reply
by k5nz on February 11, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! What a surprise to see this little piece by Margaret when I signed on today. I know first hand her special place for us geeks! Everytime I invite her husband up for a contest, I know I also get Margaret's great cooking too! I only hope she doesn't get too excited about contesting or we loose a good cook....but then again we gain a good op...hummm
I Married a Ham Reply
by KQ6FU on February 12, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hello all, just logged on and signed up for this site. I noticed the article about women getting in to ham radio and just had to respond.
My wife Hillari and I do just about everything together (kids included). Everything from fishing, riding motorcycles (we have matching bikes, how cute), shooting, video games...whatever. We're also EXTREMELY competitive with one another. This includes ham radio.
We both got our tickets at the same time. I new about ham radio, asked her if she wanted to be a "radio geek" and she said "sure". We came up "through the ranks" together and both upgraded to Advanced last April before the "change". We also both passed our 20wpm tests and BOMBED our Extra's, but it was fun.
She didn't think she'd really get in to it as much as she has. She's gone from just working 2m with me in the car to being a real DX hound. She's also discovered her other love....big antennas and BIGGER amps. Her motto is "tune for maximum smoke"...sometimes LITERALLY.
She recently got her vanity call which really fits her, NE1DX or ANYONE DX. I know, it's a COOL call and I wish I had snagged it.
I'm proud to say that all my guy ham friends are extremely jealous. IF you saw and knew her, you'd know why. If you work her, you'll SEE why as she's posing in her towel on a tropical beach. SHe's smart, gorgeous and a RADIO GEEK!!!
Last month, for her 30th birthday, I bought her her very OWN solid state amp. Her friends at work could NOT understand why she was SO excited but she LOVES it...and so do I, no tubes to smoke!

She is currently planning her "own" stacked array of 20m monobanders. If I left it up to her we'd have a 200' rotating tower in the back yard with four 5-element monobanders stacked. Her picture is even on the wall at HRO in Oakland and she calls herself "Sheerah, Princess of Aluminum".

SO, it's not impossible. Yes, it's great having a ham wife, I never have ANY problems if I want to buy gear...except for the fact that I usually have to buy TWO hi hi.

IF you catch her on HF, you'll see that she's not much of a rag chewer. As she says "I like to get in, knock their socks off and get out". We're currently competing for DXCC. WHen I say competitive, I mean it. She'll go as far as HIDING qsl cards that I receive if I get one that she hasn't worked yet.

SO, if you have a YL that you'd like to get in to radio, shoot us an email and she'd be HAPPY to do some recruiting.

Thanks for reading, great site.

73 es cu on the bands.
I Married a Ham Reply
by W3PYF on March 4, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
All I can say, is someone is lucky.. My wife has only put up with this for 52 years. We married 60 years as of June 2001.
I Married a Ham Reply
by G0PZA on March 5, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Margaret. Well done. It takes a special kind of lady to put up with our unique hobby. 73 & 88 from Garo.
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