My beginnings were very modest. My brother-in-law gave me an old Heathkit GR-64 shortwave receiver he had built as a kid. I spent countless hours following the not so stable VFO around, logging swl stations from around the globe. The BFO didn't work very well. But occasionally I could copy some hams talking. One summer day, while tuning around, a guy (Gary N2GR) who was painting my neighbors' house heard the hetrodynes and asked me if I was a ham. The next day he handed me a few old Ham Radio Horizons magazines. Needless to say, the bug bit and bit hard.

I befriended my elmer, Bill W2EZY(sk), quite by accident. His Yagi was very noticeable as I rode past on the way to my girlfriends' house. He had a gorgeous TX/RX built by KW from England. We spent many hours getting ready for the big test. I was originally licensed at the age of 13 in 1978 as KA2CRT. I upgraded to general at the Buffalo FCC field office in 1979 and received N2AWT. After upgrading to advanced and finally extra, I kept the N2 call. That is until the FCC started granting the N2 calls to no-coders. Not wanting to change, I swallowed my humility for a number of years. I actually had a badge made at a hamfest that read "N2AWT---KNOW CODE EXTRA". I applied for and received my present call in 2001. I'll leave the reasons for my choice to your imagination. But I assure you it has nothing to do with my resentment of the no-coders.

As far as operating habits go, I am a true CW fanatic. Although recently I must admit a good portion of my QSOs have been SSB. I enjoy chasing DX on the HF bands. I recently sent in my first batch of QSL cards to the ARRL and got my DXCC certificate. It hangs on the wall next to my only other award, WAS CW. I also recently started playing on 6 meters. I don't own any VHF/UHF gear, except my cellphone.

Besides Ham radio, I also am an avid Saxophone player. I operate a vintage sax restoration business out of my basement when I feel urge. During the day, I work for a telecommunications company installing and servicing telephone systems. I'm now 38 years old, married to my wife Patty for 17 years, and the proud father of two sons, Nick (14) and Matt (11).