DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

To Have and to Have Not

by Hugh Cassidy, WA6AUD

Originally published in the WCDXB, 11 January 1977

There are still problems of this age that defy either solution or explanation. And one of the Local QRPers came up the hill last week to again ask the question. "Tell me," this QRPer says, "I worked Papua and New Guinea some years back. Now I have 199 countries on the DXCC list and a couple of months back worked this P29JS from Papua New Guinea. Now someone tells me Papua and New Guinea are deleted countries but that if I send in my P29JS QSL I will get credit for another country. Is that right? All right-thinking DXers knew that this is right but the QRPer was not ready to accept.

"Sure, I know there was a change in administration," he said, "but the station has not moved. Am I supposed to be working real estate or labels? Now I understand they are going to handle this matter of administration differently in the future than it has been done in the past. And what was in the past may not be in the future. Right!!"

Son of a Gun! We were running ahead of an avalanche here and not gaining an inch. It was time to change directions. "Look", we said. "Did you ever read Hemingway's 'To Have And To Have Not'?" "Sure did", the QRPer said. And I also saw the movie. And there was little relationship between the story and the movie, What has that got to do with DXCC and P29s?" We were finally able to smile again. "Look at it this way," we said, "In DXCC you may have and have not. And what you may think is, is not. And sometimes it is hard to separate what was from what is, between what we think we know and what is. Many of these things are simply states of mind. Certainly you understand all of that?"

The QRPer sat there with his head down for some minutes, finally raising it to say. "Look! I don't understand anything", and away he went down the hill. And it is always sad to note that the clear logic and always shining clarity of the DXCC criteria is sometimes hard for the uninitiated to understand. But many will realize that the Mysteries of the Ages is a difficult task to understand and one must understand that tomorrow it will be different . . . maybe.

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