DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

The Old Timer's Birthday

One of the local QRPers was up the hill the other day, this one looking a bit bent out of shape. "It's the Old Timer", the QRPer said, "he getting cranky these days. Really cranky." We were a bit surprised at this for we had known the Old Timer for years and this seemed out of character. "Tell us more", we urged the QRPer.

"Well, I just don't understand it", the QRPer continued, "I don't understand it at all. I was up to see him just yesterday and he threw me out of the shack! He actually kicked the chair out from under me, picked me up and tossed me out on my ear!" We had to hear more for this was most unusual behavior. "What did you do?", we asked. "That's the strange part. Nothing, nothing at all.", the QRPer said, "I was just sitting there talking about DX and the Great Days of DXing and all that sort of stuff and he turned on me." We were thoroughly confused by now so we just sat and listened as the QRPer continued his story. "The Old Timer had all his DXCC QSLs out", the QRPer explained, "and he was showing me some of the rare ones I'd only dreamed of working. Like Burma and Bhutan and Kermadec." We had to agree these were indeed rare and we too had looked at the Old Timer's QSLs with a bit of envy.

"Was that when he turned on you?" we asked. "Heck no,", the QRPer replied, "not at all. It was when we got to look at the deleted countries that things went sour." We were at a loss to understand. "What's so different about deleted countries?", we asked. "That's what I want to know.", the QRPer continued, "Why, he had some really nice stuff there. Like Tibet and the Canal Zone and Okino Tori-shima and he even had a QSL from Don Miller's Minerva Reef operation in the 60's. All good DX that none of us new comers will ever work!"

We were at a loss to understand what the problem was. "Tell us what you said just before he got upset with you?", we asked. "Well, it all happened pretty fast.", the QRPer replied, "We were looking at his Sikkim QSL and I asked to see his VO card. And the Old Timer asked me why I wanted to see a QSL from Canada and I said: No, not Canada, one from Newfoundland and Labrador. And that's when he turned on me! He threw his QSLs on the floor, kicked my chair over and tossed me out! I just don't understand it!" And with that he shrugged and walked slowly down the hill.

Son of a Gun! This may have left a few questions unanswered in the mind of the QRPer, but we had a clear understanding of the situation! We knew that VO had been deleted in 1949. And we also knew that the Old Timer was rather reluctantly celebrating a birthday in the next few days . . . and it wouldn't be his 49th, either! And while a true blue DXer may have worked them all by starting early and staying late, it is best not to remind him of this too often!

Best Regards, Paul

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