DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

Exclusive Club

One of the local QRPers came by last week, this the same one who had been so incensed about the Low Band Asia DXer's Guild a few weeks ago. This time he was whistling away as he came up the hill, joy in his stride and his beady little eyes were sparkling. We were curious about this new found happiness. "You made it into that low band DXing group, right?", we inquired. "Nope, don't need'em at all", the QRPer replied with a confident smile, "not interested in their silly little club!" We had to think this over for a bit, for this particular QRPer was not known to give up so easily. "Why the change of attitude?", we asked, wondering just where things were going.

The QRPer took on a definite conspiratorial look. "Be very very quiet", he whispered and he checked the shack for microphones. Then he turned on the taps in the bathroom and cranked up the stereo full blast. We had to turn things back a bit for we could not hear each other. "It's six meters", the QRPer advised us cautiously, "six meter grid squares. We've had some good openings this spring on sporadic-E and even some auroral backscatter." We had to agree this was so, for although we were not active on 50 MHz, we had heard chatter among the QRPers whenever an opening occurred. However, we could not understand how this was related to the Low Band Asia DXer's Guild. "What do six meter grid squares have to with low band DXing?", we asked. "Nothing, nothing at all", the QRPer whispered, looking carefully from side to side, "in fact, it's so far removed from the low bands and DXing that no one in the Low Band Asia DXer's Guild ever works them. Don't you see? I'm working stuff they never thought of!" We were starting to see a glimmer here, but still not understanding exactly where the QRPer was headed. "But what are you going to do with the grid squares that you are working on six?", we asked.

"I thought you'd never ask!", the QRPer said in a loud voice, then clamping his hand over his mouth and looking around again. "I've formed my own club", he continued in a whisper, "my very own club! And do you know what I call it?" We were not sure we wanted to know, but we nodded the go ahead anyway. "The Six Meter Grid Square Chasers Association" We had to bite our tongue! "And not one of those low banders are ever going to get in," he continued in a low voice, "not a single one of them!" We had to stop biting to speak so we pinched our side instead . . . we were not used to keeping such a straight face. "What are the membership requirements?" we asked softly. "Not telling you", was the quick and confident reply, "Not telling anyone!"

We were not sure just what we had gotten ourselfs into, but we were sure starting to look for a fast way out. However, as the Old Timer had often said, "Take from do man his dream." So we ploughed on. "How can you recruit new members if you don't tell anyone the rules for joining?", we asked patiently. "I don't want any new members", the QRPer whispered, "none at all." We were thoughtful for a moment. "How many of you are in this club now?", we asked. "One", replied the QRPer, "just one. Me!" We could not contain ourselves any longer. "Why that's silly!", we said, breaking into a broad grin, "just plain silly! How can you have a club with just one member and not allow any new ones?" The QRPer's smile was even brighter than ours. "It's my club, and I make the rules. The low bander's will never know! Never! Unless you tell them." We quickly shook our head in the negative. "This will shut them up!", the QRPer grinned, "The next time they throw this Low Band Asia DXer's Guild stuff my way, I'll just smile and tell them about my charter membership in the Six Meter Grid Square Chasers Association. I might even get it printed on my QSL cards." The QRPer leaned closer and said: "I'll have an even more exclusive club than they do! More exclusive by anyone's measure. I'm a member of the Six Meter Grid Square Chasers Association!"

And with that the QRPer was off, hippity-hoping down the hill. We just sat there for a few minutes and stared at the running tap the QRPer had left on. What could we say in the face of all this? Son of a Gun! "Incredible", we muttered, "Incredible!" A thing is important if someone thinks it's important. There are tides in the life of every DXer and the road to understanding is always a rocky one!

Best Regards, Paul

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